Lowly Tuen Mun frustrate Caroliners
Lowly Tuen Mun threw another spanner in the works in the BMA First Division as they held giants South China to a 1-1 draw on their home ground at Tang Shiu Kin Sports Ground for their second successive draw against a top side.
First it was title contenders TSW Pegasus last week and yesterday it was South China as the New Territories side frustrated the Caroliners, who are unlikely to secure the league title for a second successive year.
Tuen Mun's latest surprising result means the Caroliners are on 29 points, leaving them with a yawning six-point gap from leaders Pegasus before the two sides meet in two weeks. Second placed Kitchee are on 33 and all three teams have three matches to play before their campaign end.
Tuen Mun executive director Lo Kwong-chung praised the team's performance even if they had nothing to fight for in the league. Tuen Mun are third from the bottom, but are a massive 13 points above the relegation zone on 17 points.
First Division debutants Sham Shui Po and Sapling will make the drop to the Second Division. 'While I would like to pay tribute to the players' hard work, I also want to say South China were a bit unfortunate for missing a couple of chances that might have given them victory today,' said Lo.
South China failed to add to the tally after Joel Padilha's header following a corner kick, cancelled out Yip Tsz-chun's opening goal for Tuen Mun.
Yip beat South China goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai after Yapp kept out his first shot from close range but Yip made no mistake with his second attempt.
South China striker Giovane da Silva had at least two opportunities to break the deadlock, but one effort sailed over the cross bar and another attempt from an open goal went wide.
South China captain Chan Wai-ho said although the Caroliners could still mathematically win the title, they would need to shift their focus on the FA Cup, their last chance of silverware for the season.
'We will try to win our remaining three league matches, but even if we do that, we still have to wait and see how Pegasus and Kitchee do,' said the defender.
'The chance of us winning the league title is very slim and it is a bit disappointing. We have failed in the league for two seasons in a row.'