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AFC Champions League

OMG! Hong Kong football fans react to Kitchee’s smash-and-grab win with mixture of shock and awe

First ever Champions League goal scored by a Hong Kong-born player secures the city’s first win in Asia’s top tournament

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 12:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2018, 1:58pm

Kitchee shocked Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol and came good on owner Ken Ng Kin’s promise to better Eastern’s single point in the 2017 AFC Champions League thanks to a last-minute stunner from local 20-year-old Cheng Chin-lung.

The winger was brought back from a loan spell at fellow Hong Kong Premier League side Dreams FC and repaid coach Chu Chi-kwong’s faith in him with the goal that secured Hong Kong’s first ever win in the tournament in front of a crowd of 7,771 at Hong Kong Stadium.

As you might expect this historic moment for Hong Kong has made a little bit of noise on social media.

Kitchee fans were quick to comment on the club’s official Facebook page and laud the unlikely hero.

Even Fifa got in on the act.

Wallace Leung wrote that “Cheng Chin-lung came for the tournament too late” adding that if he had played earlier “Kitchee should come close to qualifying and defeating Jeonbuk Motors to lead the group.” A positive spin.

Andy Lau wants Kitchee’s players rewarded with call-ups for Hong Kong’s Asian Cup showdown with North Korea next week: “A strong request to add Cheng Chin-lung and Tong Kin-man into the squad for Hong Kong’s Asian Cup qualifier against North Korea.”

There was shock from Chris Koon: “Never expect the aggregate score against Kashiwa Reysol is 1-1.”

“Do you think Cheng’s goal has the chance of making it to the goal of the week in the AFC Champions League?” asked Kung Ka-wai.

Benny Lam wondered whether the scorer would be making his way to the Chinese Super League in the future: “The Japanese players thought Cheng could not do anything and allowed him the easy chance to score. I believe there will be teams from Mainland China to sign Cheng next year.”

History made as Kitchee become first Hong Kong club to earn victory in the AFC Champions League

Meanwhile, Ho Ho Tse was more phlegmatic. “The Japanese underestimated us and we had luck on our side by saving two great chances from them.”

Fans divided on how Kitchee can deliver on owner’s promise of besting Eastern in debut Champions League

The biggest question now is whether Kitchee are done with just the three points.

Can they get a result against Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian at Mong Kok Stadium on April 4 or even shock the runaway group leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in South Korea in the final group game?

If the K-League champions rest their star players there is no reason why they can’t dream of the knockouts.