South China score four goals in six minutes to beat Citizen
With 10 minutes left, the Caroliners were still trailing at Mong Kok Stadium before their late goal blitz
South China scored four goals in six minutes in the closing stages to turn their RedMR First Division match against Citizen upside down, coming from behind to win 4-1 yesterday.
With 10 minutes left, the Caroliners were still trailing at Mong Kok Stadium before their late goal blitz.
"We created a number of chances for the second goal, which would have killed the match," said Citizen executive director Calvin Pui Hoi-wang. "But we failed to do so, and conceded two quick goals in two minutes, which threw the entire team into disarray.
"We played a very good 80 minutes, but unfortunately the players could not hang in there in the final stages."
Japan's Yuto Nakamura put Citizen ahead midway through the first half, knocking in from close range after South China goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai just managed to stop a Sham Kwok-keung header.
Hong Kong international Lee Hong-lim, who was brought into the match 15 minutes into the second half, finally got the equaliser for South China in the 81st minute before Lee Chi-ho, Vincent Weijl and Kwok Kin-pong boosted the tally.
"We were patient, kept passing the ball to look for the opportunities and it did pay off," said Lee. "The boys were all mentally strong even though time was running short. And once we got the equaliser, it was only a matter of time to get the job done."
Lee also paid tribute to the hard work of the coaching staff who were able to keep the team momentum going. "We lifted the Shield trophy just a week ago and mentally we were a bit relaxed, but the coaches kept us focused during training, so that we won't lose our concentration."
South China remain in second place after the victory, but are still four points behind leaders Kitchee, who have 24 points and one game in hand.
Kitchee meet third-placed Sun Pegasus in Mong Kok today.
Pegasus will be without playmaker Ju Yingzhi, who has been banned for four games after being found guilty of provoking fans during their 3-2 win over Royal Southern in the Shield semi-finals.
The Hong Kong international's midfield role will be taken over by Yip Tsz-chun, who recently joined from troubled side Tuen Mun.