Tai Po eye Shield glory after edging Southern
Wofoo Tai Po reached the Canbo Senior Shield final yesterday after beating Southern 3-1 in the second leg of their semi-final for a 3-2 aggregate victory.
A two-goal blast in the opening stages set the tone for sweet revenge as Tai Po made up for the 1-0 defeat in the first leg three weeks ago.
Midfielder Aender Naves Mesquita wasted little time, scoring after just two minutes and Alexander Akande added to the tally 13 minutes later, converting from the penalty spot after teammate Clayton Afonso was pulled down by Southern defender Wisdom Agbo.
To Hon-to put the result beyond doubt with Tai Po's third early in the second half. Chan Cheuk-kwong scored a late consolation for Southern with 15 minutes to go. Tai Po coach Cheung Po-chun's side are still struggling in the league, but yesterday's success should boost their confidence as they try to stave off relegation. "This is a marvellous achievement considering the depth of the squad and the resources available to us," Cheung said. "We had to come back from a 1-0 defeat in the first leg which made the task that much more difficult. The players worked hard and fought hard for this important win.
"Our primary target is still to avoid relegation and if we continue to play the way we did today, that is a realistic target."
With only six points from nine matches, Tai Po are just two points clear of cellar dwellers Sunray Cave Sun Hei in the league standings.
"We need between nine and 12 points from our remaining [nine] games. If we can do that we will be safe," Cheung said.
"But now that we have reached the Shield final, we want to win that also."
Tai Po will meet Citizen - who knocked favourites South China out on Saturday - in the final on January 27 at Hong Kong Stadium.