Sham to the rescue as Citizen hold Yokohama to a draw

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 April, 2013, 4:43am

Sham Kwok-keung scored a late equaliser as Citizen held Yokohama FC to a 1-1 draw in a RedMR First Division match that did little to ease the teams' relegation worries.

Throwing everything at Yokohama in search for the equaliser, Citizen were finally rewarded with the second-half substitute tapping home after picking up a Yuan Tang header.

Although Sham appeared to be offside with only 10 minutes left at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground, the linesman's flag stayed down despite Yokohama's protest.

Yokohama took the lead in the first half when Japanese striker Kenji Fukuda headed home from a corner kick in the 33rd minute.

"The result isn't too bad for us as we are still in with a chance of avoiding relegation," said Citizen executive director Calvin Pui Ho-wang.

"It's not easy to play on a slippery pitch, especially when we had to search for the equaliser. The boys did a tremendous job." Citizen have now collected 17 points, three ahead of cellar-dwellers Sunray Cave Sun Hei. But with only one match left in the campaign, they must beat Kitchee next week to guarantee their top-flight status.

"We are left with little option and I am sure the players will be highly motivated for a victory in our last match," said Pui.

Yokohama, who are now on 19 points, are still in the relegation zone, but coach Lee Chi-kin remained defiant about their First Division survival.

Meanwhile, Kitchee also need nothing less than victory to keep their tiny title hopes alive when they visit Sun Pegasus at Yuen Long Stadium tonight.

Still smarting from their disastrous 4-1 defeat by rivals South China last week, second place Kitchee are five points behind the Caroliners in the standings with two rounds of the season left.

A draw or defeat against Pegasus would automatically hand the league title to South China, who face the prospect of winning the championship without kicking a ball against Southern tomorrow.