South China bounce back with win over Tai Po
South China recovered after their disappointing defeat in the Senior Shield final by beating Wofoo Tai Po 4-2 in the quarter-finals of the Halewinner League Cup at Mong Kok Stadium yesterday.
Joining them in the semi-finals are TSW Pegasus, but the First Division leaders were given a scare before delivering a 4-1 trouncing to relegation-bound Sham Shui Po after extra-time.
Fresh from their penalty shootout loss to Sunray Cave Sun Hei in the Shield final, South China bounced back quickly and led 3-0 at half-time. Their performance impressed former Manchester United and South China player Nicky Butt, who is on holiday in Hong Kong and visited his former colleagues in the changing room during the interval. The former England star also signed autographs for South China fans.
'He praised our performance, saying we had improved from the time he was here,' said captain Chan Wai-ho, who opened the scoring.
'It's been a difficult time for us after losing the Shield final just a week ago and some of our key players were also missing due to injuries. But we hope [yesterday's] victory puts us back on the right track.'
Striker Cheng Lai-hin found the target twice in the first half before Hong Kong international Chan Siu-ki made it 4-0 in the second half.
They held firm against Tai Po, until Clayton Afonso and William Gomes found the goal in the 79th and 85th minutes. But that was the best Tai Po could offer before a crowd of 2,700.
Pegasus had only themselves to blame for being stretched to the limit by minnows Sham Shui Po as they dominated the game. After winger Lee Hong-lim opened the scoring for Pegasus in the second minute, it looked like it would be the start of a rout, but Lee Ka-ho for Sham Shui Po put one in just before the interval.
Jaimes McKee sealed victory for Pegasus with a hat-trick in extra-time.
Kitchee take on Tuen Mun at Mong Kok today and the winners will meet South China in the semi-finals. Today's other quarter-final will feature Sun Hei and Citizen.