Draw with Sun Hei rocks Kitchee's title prospects

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 March, 2013, 5:37am

Defending champions Kitchee's title hopes took a nosedive when they were held 1-1 by strugglers Sunray Cave Sun Hei in the RedMR First Division last night.

But club boss Ken Ng Kin refused to throw the towel as they try to close the gap on arch-rivals South China.

The Caroliners lead the table with 33 points, two ahead of Kitchee, but a victory today against Yokohama at Mong Kok Stadium would increase their advantage to five points.

"There is still a chance as long as the league is not finished yet," said Ng. "I am not too disappointed with the individual performances, especially captain Lam Ka-wai who has shown improved form after returning from a leg injury, while new arrival Matthew Lam also had a good game."

Sun Hei remain bottom of the table, but their future is not yet decided as they have 13 points and three matches left and the bottom five teams are separated by a mere two points.

Mamadou Barry put Sun Hei into a surprise lead in the first half, but his effort was neutralised by second-half substitute Pablo Counago.

Sun Hei goalkeeper Zhang Chunhui made a number of acrobatic saves to frustrate the opposition who came close to scoring in the closing stages.

Meanwhile, Citizen secured three important points in their battle against relegation with an emphatic 5-0 victory over home team Tuen Mun yesterday.

Composed Japanese forward Yuto Nakamura scored a hat-trick in the second half at Tang Shiu Kin Sports Ground as Tuen Mun failed to repeat their feat of overcoming leaders South China 2-1 in their last match.

"If we can continue the way we played today, I am confident of winning the relegation battle," said Citizen executive director Calvin Pui Hoi-wang. "The three points come at a time when we need it most and we go on to complete the mission.

"We will meet Sun Pegasus and Yokohama next and if we can get four points out of them, we should be safe regardless of the result of our final match against Kitchee."

Citizen won against both Pegasus and Yokohama in the first half of the season. Citizen, who are now on 15 points, surged from the bottom of the table to sixth position after the victory.

Southern will host BC Rangers at Aberdeen Sports Ground today.