Unbeaten Kitchee moved a big step closer to their third championship in four years after thrashing BC Rangers 4-1 in the RedMR HK First Division soccer competition at Sham Shui Po Sports Ground on Sunday.
Now leading defending champions South China by a huge 12 points, Kitchee need only seven more points from their five remaining matches to seal the title.
Kitchee coach Chu Chi-kwong refused to get carried away, but admitted the result was a timely booster before their AFC Cup campaign against visitors Pune of India in midweek.
"It's too early to talk about the title. We just do it match by match," said Chu, who replaced Spaniard Alex Gomez early in the season.
"We will start playing on two fronts soon and the demanding schedule will be a big challenge."
The coach, however, was not too happy with his team's display.
"The result was fine, but the performance was far from impressive," he said. "We made a lot of inaccurate passes during the match and some players seemed to have lost their concentration on a number of occasions.
"Perhaps they are a bit tired mentally after playing so many games this season. This is my concern and hopefully they won't commit similar mistakes in the regional cup tie as it will cost us dearly against our Asian counterparts."
Rangers are the only team that have beaten Kitchee this season, in the Senior Shield, and on Sunday had a chance to repeat that in the league.
If Chuck Yiu-kwok had converted early in the second half when the score was 1-1, Rangers might have posed a lot more difficulties for their opponents. But Chuck hit the ball straight at the goalkeeper from close range.
Matthew Lam drew first blood for Kitchee just before half time, but Rangers midfielder Miroslav Saric equalised two minutes into the second half.
Kitchee had to wait for almost 30 minutes before second-half substitute Alexander Akande scored a brace to put them back in the lead.
Jorge Tarres added the fourth in stoppage time.
Elsewhere, Sunray Cave Sun Hei upset Sun Pegasus 3-1.