Hong Kong Premier League

Hat-trick hero Diego Forlan keeps up his personal goal of the season campaign with two more trademark free kicks for Kitchee

Uruguayan dead-ball specialist nets first treble in Hong Kong to lead another rout ahead of club’s AFC Champions League group stage bow on February 13

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 February, 2018, 6:09pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 February, 2018, 12:24am

Kitchee’s Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan hit his first hat-trick for the club in their Hong Kong Premier League match against Lee Man Warriors on Saturday.

The 38-year-old scored his first two goals in a Kitchee shirt against BC Rangers last weekend and went one better this week by helping himself to three.

The first two of his treble were what are fast becoming his trademark in Hong Kong – unstoppable strikes direct from free-kicks.

If there were any doubts about Forlan surrounding his age and his not playing professionally for over a year before arriving in Hong Kong, he’s silenced them the best way possible – with goals.

The win extended Kitchee’s lead at the top of the Hong Kong Premier League to 11 points over second-placed Sun Pegasus, although the champions have played two games more.

‘The world has become much smaller – players play everywhere now’: Diego Forlan on life as a globe-trotting maestro

That lead is essentially a point stronger given that Kitchee’s goal difference of +41 dwarves the +6 of Sun Pegasus.

The league leaders eventually ran out 5-1 winners at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, a comedown from recent scores of 8-1 against Eastern and 7-0 against BC Rangers but still a great boost to the side’s confidence ahead of their next game – the club’s first ever Champions League group game.

Kitchee travel to northern China to play Tianjin Quanjian on February 13 and while the Chinese Super League side will be favourites, the recent glut of goals and fine form of Forlan puts the Hong Kong side in with a chance.

Two-time champions, the fourth best team in the world and big name internationals: Hong Kong’s Kitchee face uphill battle in AFC Champions League

Kitchee’s first home game in group E is against Korean K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at Hong Kong Stadium on February 20.