Chu Siu-kei urges Kitchee to lift game against South China
Kitchee captain Chu Siu-kei urged his fellow players to rise to the occasion as they take on rivals South China in a Canbo Senior Shield second-round tie at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground today.
With a 1-0 deficit after last week's away leg, during which striker Jorge Tarres was injured and centre-half Liu Quankun was sent off, Kitchee are facing elimination from the cup, the winners of which qualify for a new domestic cup competition to decide Hong Kong's representative in the 2014 AFC Cup.
Kitchee midfield powerhouse Lam Ka-wai joins Tarres and Liu on the sidelines with a leg injury, while South China midfielder Carlos Bertoldi is back in action after serving a one-game ban.
"We are up against a mountain with so many unfavourable conditions," said Chu. "We all know how good the opponents are as South China also beat us in the league this season, but it doesn't mean we just give up without a fight. There is always hope as long as there is the chance to play."
Chu was substituted early in the first leg game because of a thigh problem, but the veteran is ready to lead his side. "There has been pressure on us because we have clinched the league title two seasons in a row," said Chu. "But there is no excuse and a victory tomorrow will be a big lift to our team morale."
Meanwhile, Wofoo Tai Po reached the Senior Shield semi-finals after thrashing Tuen Mun 5-0 at Tsing Yi Sports Ground yesterday.
Tuen Mun were 3-2 up from the first leg but fell to pieces when centre-half Mauricio da Luz was sent off in the 53rd minute. Tai Po's Alexander Akande scored a hat-trick, while To Hon-to and Ye Jia were also on target.
Their opponent in the last four will be Southern, who overcame a 1-0 deficit in the first leg with a 2-0 win over Sun Pegasus.