Tempest fires as Eastern hit six
STRIKER Dale Tempest announced his early season form by knocking in a hat-trick as Eastern hammered Brunei champions Kota Ranger 6-1 in the first leg, first round of the Asian Club Championship in Bandar Seri Begawan last night.
Tempest, the leading goalscorer in the Hong Kong league for the past two seasons, scored in the third, 71st and 89th minute to leave Kota Ranger with an an unenviable task in the return leg at Mongkok Stadium on September 15.
Ross Greer, who scored a brace in last Sunday's Aw Hoe Cup but failed to find the net in the ensuring penalty shootout which went to sudden-death, scored another brace in the 37th and 41st minutes.
Eastern skipper Lee Kin-wo also got his name on the score-sheet but aggravated a hamstring injury and had to be substituted by Check Po-hong mid-way through the second half.
Eastern's big victory came at a further price - exciting young striker Ricky Cheng Siu-chung suffering a heavy ankle knock. He may miss Saturday's league opener against Instant-Dict.
Eastern team manager Peter Leung said: 'Our opponents were very aggressive and this resulted in some rough tackling but we had the situation under control and we weren't worried at any time.
'The Brunei champions lacked technique and to be honest, they weren't very good.' Defender Chan Chi-keung and Law Kai-wah also sustained minor injuries although the pair should be fit to face Instant-Dict.
Eastern last season won the Senior Challenge Shield, the league and the FA Cup.
The Hong Kong champions will have a much more difficult task in the second round where they are to meet Japan's J.League champions Verdy Kawasaki in the next round.
Eastern were beaten by Verdy Yomiuri in the same competition last season.