The big guns of domestic soccer rolled out for the first time this season and enjoyed comfortable victories in their opening matches in the RedMR First Division.
Defending champions Kitchee showed they weren't going to surrender the league crown they have held for two straight years without a fight when they cruised past Sunray Cave Sun Hei 3-0 in the more impressive win of the day at Mong Kok Stadium. And Hong Kong giants South China, looking to return to glory days of old, came out firing on all cylinders in a neat 5-2 victory over newcomers Yokohama at Hong Kong Stadium.
South China are desperate to return to winning ways after finishing last season empty-handed and although they won well yesterday, question marks were still hanging over their defence.
The Caroliners conceded the opening goal after just four minutes when Tsuyoshi Yoshitake scored and their defence was caught napping again in injury time when Lee Ka-ho eluded the defence to slot home.
But the Caroliners were already in control with two goals from Manoel Filho, including one from the penalty spot, and one goal apiece from Martins Dhiego de Souza, Augusto Bertoldi and Lee Hong-lim. The big victory margin still disguised the fact that the Caroliners looked vulnerable.
Yokohama, last season's Second Division champions, would be pleased by their First Division debut, while South China boss Steven Lo Kit-sing felt his team could have done better.
"It was a good opening victory but we still conceded goals that we shouldn't have. We must work harder to improve our defence," said Lo.
New Spanish striker Jonathan Carril made an impressive debut for Kitchee. The 28-year-old got off his mark with goals in the 51st and 88th minutes. Chan Man-fai scored the other goal for the champions in the 79th minute.