Leicester City stun Aston Villa to win Hong Kong Soccer Sevens
Goals from Josh Eppiah and Josh Gordon secure 3-0 final win to ensure the title returns to Leicester for the first time since 2013
Leicester City stunned holders Aston Villa to claim an impressive 3-0 win in the final of the 2017 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens on Sunday.
Two goals from Josh Eppiah and one from Josh Gordon ensured that the Hong Kong title returns to Leicester for the first time since 2013.
A brace in the final ensured that Eppiah was the top goalscorer in the tournament with eight goals. The 18-year-old Belgian was also named the competition’s MVP.
For Aston Villa, it was a step too far in their quest for a second straight title in Hong Kong. On Sunday, they followed up an impressive 3-0 win over Cagliari with a 4-0 trouncing of Marseille and appeared to be peaking just in time to retain their title going into the final match. But in the end they found a determined Leicester City side too strong.
The Foxes won all six of their matches this weekend while conceding just two goals, and eliminated West Ham and Glasgow Rangers on their way to Sunday’s final.
One of the leading lights of the competition, Leicester City captain Hamza Choudhury, excelled in defence for the Foxes over the weekend and said the disappointment of a near miss last season spurred his team on to a second Hong Kong title.
“We were disappointed not to win it last year,” said the 19-year-old. “We put in a lot of work and we came out and we’ve done what the gaffer’s told us before the game.
“To win any competition you’ve got to have the rub of the green but along with that I feel we’ve put in the hard work. We’ve been clinical and the boys have deserved it. It would have been tough for anyone to beat us on our day and we definitely performed when it mattered.”
Choudhury was rumoured to be attracting some of the Premier League’s top clubs last season and said his next target is to be playing first team football next season.
“Obviously my ambition is to kick on with the first team next season, but we’ll see how things go.”
Elsewhere on Sunday, Citi All Stars retained the Masters Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win over Wallsend Boys Club.
In an end-to-end final it was the 2016 champions, aided by the nine goals of Masters MVP Jamie Cureton, who wrapped up the senior trophy.
“It was very difficult,” said Citi All Stars captain Frank Sinclair. “Everyone said we were the favourites for this but from the very off you could see that Wallsend were a very talented side.”
Citi clung on to claim victory in one of the games of the day, with Wallsend rapping the crossbar in the dying stages.
“We knew we’d have to hang on in this game. We knew it would be difficult, and we knew at some stage we’d have to ride our luck and we certainly did, but at the same time we all worked hard for each other all the way through the tournament so I think it’s thoroughly deserved.”
Meanwhile, the star-studded Playon Pros outfit, who fielded a team of ex-professionals and former internationals including David James, Emile Heskey and Mikael Silvestre this weekend, confirmed that they would be returning to Hong Kong to compete in next year’s tournament.
“We are delighted to announce that we have been invited back next year and even happier to say we will be taking up the invitation. Next year, as our Playon Pros have made clear, we are coming back to win it,” said Ken Lawrence, head of media, Playon.