Toothless Caroliners squander more points

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 September, 2011, 12:00am


South China coach Jan Kocian's job appears to be safe, at least for the time being, despite another scrappy performance last night.

The Caroliners were held to a goalless draw by Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei in the BMA First Division in front of a 2,700 crowd at Hong Kong Stadium last night. They were lucky to escape with one point as Sun Hei striker Leung Tsz-chun hit the cross-bar in the final stages through a free kick from the left side of the box.

With only four points from their first three matches, South China are going through one of the worst early season periods since convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing took charge of the team in 2006.

'I want to get to the bottom of why we such a poor game,' said Lo. 'The team are not living up to expectations and in particular we seem to be lacking attacking options.

'Luckily our next match will be in two weeks and it will be against newly formed Hong Kong Sapling. There should be enough time for them to improve.'

Lo refused to countenance any changes to the squad, whether among the coaching staff or the players.

'This is just the beginning of the season and I want to give them some more time before making any change,' he said. 'In fact, it will be difficult to find replacements for coaching staff at this time of the season and the players' transfer window will also close very soon. But they have to show me they are capable of improvement.'

But Lo also paid tribute to their opponents. 'They battled hard throughout the match and even if they stamina in the final stages, they still gave their best. They deserved the point,' he said.

South China rested Hong Kong international Chan Siu-ki in the starting line-up, replacing the striker with Brazilian Giovane da Silva, who teamed up with fellow expatriate Dyron Daal up front.

But the duo still were unable to break through the Sun Hei defence and produced few serious attempts on goal. Wellingsson de Souza also failed to make an impression when he was brought on in the second half to strengthen their attack. Sun Hei relied on their dangerous breaks, but towering striker Mamadou Barry wasted a couple of chances.

The match still had live coverage on TV as South China were the home team. Sun Hei remain the only club not to agree to pay a broadcast fee of HK$40,000 per month and their team manager Chung Chi-kwong said they would not change their position. 'We want to see the response in the first season before we consider joining the rest of the teams,' Chung said.