Kitchee boss Ken Ng Kin admitted it was going to be difficult for his side to catch leaders South China after being held by Citizen to a goalless draw in the Coolpoint Ventilation First Division at Mong Kok Stadium last night. There task was made even harder as the Caroliners thrashed bottom side Xiangxue Eisiti 7-0 in the night's other match. It meant defending champions South China remain top with 44 points from 16 outings, six ahead of second-placed Kitchee with one match in hand. 'I would not say our title hopes are gone at this stage, but the road ahead will be very tough,' said a disappointed Ng. 'The result has put us in an unfavourable situation, but I am more concerned about the way we played. 'Our midfield failed to launch any effective moves. Having said that, I would also praise Citizen for doing so well. They played 120 minutes at the weekend, and also had to do without two key players due to suspension.' With Kitchee yet to meet the Caroliners in the second round, Ng hoped they could defeat South China in order to close the gap, while also relying on other teams such as Sun Hei, Eastern and Fourway to beat the Caroliners. 'South China will be involved in the AFC Cup next month and I am sure they will be affected by the hectic schedule,' he said. Kitchee were actually lucky to escape with a draw after defender Lee Hang-wui had apparently brought down Citizen forward Paulo Carreiro inside the box in the 85th minute. But the referee did not award a penalty. Carreiro indeed should have opened the scoring for Citizen in the 69th minute, but his shot from the left hit the post. Against 10-man Eisiti, who had one player sent off before half-time, South China totally dominated. Li Haiqiang also came on as a second half substitute after being out for four months with a knee injury, and scored from a free kick to celebrate his return to action 'We do not care too much about the lead in the standings,' said Li. 'What we want to do is to prove to the fans that South China are a team capable of making progress. We have to work hard for that.'