South China scored a morale-boosting 3-2 victory over Sun Pegasus, thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Australian striker Andrew Barisic in a FA Cup round-of-16 match at Mong Kok Stadium onTuesday night.
The Caroliners were in trouble after trailing by two goals in the first half, but they scored three times after the break to register their first win in six matches under new coach Yeung Ching-kwong, who took up the job last month.
Barisic saluted his team on their comeback in front of a 2,000-strong crowd. "I was just the right man at the right time," he said. "It's not me but the whole team who deserve credit.
"We knew it was going to be tough against Pegasus and after trailing by two goals in the first half, we had to give it everything, but we did it in the end."
Coach Yeung was a relieved man. "In the first half, we were outclassed by our opponents and should have conceded more than two goals," he said. "But fortunately we never gave up and the players kept working hard for each other in the second half.
"This is an important win for both the players and the coaching staff as we finally broke the drought. But we have to work even harder as we still have the AFC Cup and the domestic front. The victory will certainly lift morale and restore our confidence for the coming matches."
South China will face another tough battle in the next round as they are likely to meet heavyweights Kitchee. The latter will play Football Club, one of the four teams from the junior division, in another first-round match at Mong Kok Stadium on Wednesday night.
Pegasus, who were also beaten by South China in the Senior Shield final, took the lead after 10 minutes. A fast break saw Jaimes McKee free on the right, and his cross was only half cleared by South China defender Sean Tse Ka-keung. Ju Yingzhi made no mistake with a low drive. McKee then added to the tally, tapping home Tang King-wong's header from the left.
The second half was a different story as South China threw themselves forward. An accurate long ball by Carlos Bertoldi picked out Lee Hong-lim on the right, who crossed for Barisic to score.
Barisic was brought down by So Wai-chuen inside the box and Sasa Kajkut scored from the penalty spot to equalise.
At the death, Barisic picked up Dhiego Martin's pass and made no mistake to complete a memorable night for the Caroliners.