Outgoing convenor Steven Lo emotional as Caroliners beat Pegasus
South China record 3-1 win in extra time to move closer to booking an AFC Cup place
South China's outgoing convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing was given a going-away present he won't forget after the club scored a thrilling 3-1 victory over rivals Sun Pegasus in extra time in the season play-off at Mong Kok Stadium yesterday.
The hard-earned win after 120 minutes put South China in the final of the play-off and was a giant step towards their becoming one of two clubs to represent Hong Kong at the 2015 AFC Cup. They must now beat the winners of today's other play-off match, between Eastern Salon and Royal Southern, to guarantee their place.
Lo, who took a group photo with players after the match, thanked his team for their support over the last eight years.
"It's really moving. The players did a very good job today," said Lo. "I will be on a business trip next week but will try to make it back to Hong Kong to watch them play. Hopefully most of the players can stay with the club if they can reach the AFC Cup next year."
South China Athletic Association, the parent body of the soccer club, announced earlier this month that Lo would quit the club as their convenor after eight seasons, although the Association refused to say if the decision had anything to do with Lo's court case in Macau.
Lo also dismissed reports that he would join another club next season, saying he will only be away from the sport "temporarily" and will return in future.
South China's Chan Siu-ki opened the scoring for his team in the 26th minute before Pegasus' Chan Pak-hang found the equaliser four minutes later.
The Caroliners dominated the second half, but weren't able to score until captain Chan Wai-hoi struck in the first half of extra-time.
A throw-in from second half substitute Sean Tse Ka-keung was well connected with by Chan, who easily headed home to put South China 2-1 ahead.
That goal came four minutes after Pegasus centre half Igor Miovic was sent off for his second booking.
Sasa Kajkut sealed victory for South China with a fine header five minutes before the final whistle.
"We made a schoolboy's mistake when we conceded the second goal," said Pegasus coach Chan Chi-hong.
"That's also why we can't become a top quality team despite all the hard work we have gone through this season.
"We always suffer lapses of concentration and that cost us dearly in the end.
"Of course, the sending off of Miovic made it harder for us."