Treble Cup champions South China were singing in the rain yesterday as they kickstarted their league campaign by defeating newcomers Fukien 3-1 at Hong Kong Stadium. The Caroliners, who won last season's FA Cup, Senior Shield and League Cup titles, grabbed the points in their opening game in a match played in steady rain. Only 1,455 spectators turned up for the first match of the season as the inclement weather put a dampener on the Hong Kong Football Association's hopes of having a decent size crowd at the spacious stadium. First Division newcomers Fukien were given a rude introduction to the top flight as South China took a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time thanks to goals from midfielder Yeung Ching-kwong and Alan Au Wai-lun from the penalty spot. Luk Koon-pon buried his team's third goal in the 79th minute before Fukien pulled one back in the dying minute through Andy Wong Chi-keung. Fukien coach Chu Chi-kwong admitted his team were always going to struggle against the Hong Kong giants. 'South China were in a different class. I knew it was going to be tough from the start. I couldn't say to my players before the match that we had no chance against South China as this would have affected our morale. We went in there and gave it our best, but South China were too strong for us,' said Chu. Yeung opened the scoring after just six minutes as South China took the match by the scruff of the neck. South China forward Chan Ho-man worked down the left flank and crossed for Lee Kin-wo. The 34-year-old winger squared the ball for Yeung who crashed home with a low shot. South China were awarded a penalty in the 33rd minute after Emerson Becker Leite was adjudged to have tugged Au's jersey in the box and the former Hong Kong Footballer of the Year made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-0. Luk extended his team's lead with a low finish after Yeung floated a free-kick that Fukien defenders failed to clear. Former Yee Hope striker Wong scored a late consolation goal for Fukien, crashing home from close range in the dying minute. South China defender Cristiano Cordeiro was pleased with his team's winning start. 'We didn't really know what to expect as it was our first match. It was very difficult to play on that pitch because the rain made it slippery. But we got the points in the end,' said the Brazilian defender.