A full-blooded encounter between would-be championship challengers Kitchee and Happy Valley yesterday at Mongkok Stadium was overshadowed by the behaviour of Valley boss Matthew Koon Wing-yee. Having narrowly escaped a certain red card for his behaviour in the dugout, by rapidly exiting into the VIP stand, the garment exporter was intent on shipping out another of his assets after the 1-1 draw - his players. 'I think three players will be fired,' he said as he stormed towards the dressing rooms, not even pausing as he confirmed that his intended victims would be the Brazilian contingent of Marcio Anacleto, Fabio Lopes Alcantara and Clodoaldo De Oliviera. Koon had already angered many of his players with similar threats during the pre-match meeting. 'He began by saying he'd sack one coach, one Chinese player and one foreigner. By the end he was saying if we don't win he'd buy the plane tickets and send all the foreigners home,' complained one Valley player on the condition of anonymity. 'It just put pressure on us. We're human beings,' said another. Koon's reaction to a draw which, despite a less than impressive start to the season, leaves Happy Valley only three points behind leaders Sun Hei having played one game more, didn't impress other members of the football fraternity. 'That's not how you run a football club. It's a knee-jerk reaction,' said one senior figure, before asking not to have his name attributed to the comments. Kitchee's Hong Kong international midfielder Szeto Man-chun had no such qualms about putting his name to his thoughts on Koon's threat. 'If you fire so many players it's not good for a team,' he said. 'You have to find a new co-operation. It doesn't take one or two matches. It takes one or two months at least.' Koon's fractious behaviour in the past has included quitting the club after they declined to back him in his campaign for membership of the Hong Kong Football Association board of directors last year and a pre-match threat to break up the squad if they didn't deliver the championship in a decisive game two seasons ago. On this occasion, the Valley boss overshadowed arguably both team's best performances of the season. Happy Valley were by far the better team in the first half, taking the lead in the 23rd minute when Clodoaldo's free-kick left Guy Ambassa with a simple far-post header. They were unlucky not to keep the lead going into the interval, but Allan Lam Hing-lun's shot from a half-cleared corner took a decisive deflection, seemingly off defender Leung Shing-kit, in the last minute. After the hour mark the game belonged almost entirely to Kitchee, who forced several good saves out of Fan Chun-yip and should have scored either from a 60th-minute Ito Dan header from point-blank range or in the dying seconds when Mihailo Jovanovic scuffed an easy shot. The day's other game - a 2-0 victory for Citizen over Xiangxue - ended with a scare when Citizen midfielder Wu Haopeng collapsed on the pitch. Citizen officials insisted he be taken to hospital as a precaution, even though he regained consciousness, saying the player had been suffering from a cold and fever in the days leading up to the match but had insisted he was well enough to play.