|Historical Senior Shield competition enters quarter-final stage
R&F and Hong Kong Pegasus will gather in Tsing Yi Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon for a Senior Shield quarter-final fixture. Kick-off time for the battle will be 2:30pm.
Ambitious R&F is set to make its first appearance in this season’s Senior Shield competition. At the time of writing, the Guangzhou-based side is second in the premier league standing and has scored the most goals amongst all premier league sides – a testament to its overall strengths. While star-attacker Igor Sartori might still be adapting to his new surroundings in Guangzhou, fellow marksman Serge Deble has been lighting things up so far this season, as his eight goals in all competitions pace the rest of the premier league scorers in the scoring-chart.
Hong Kong Pegasus edged past Happy Valley 1:0 in the opening round of the Senior Shield competition and earned a place in the quarter-final. While the matchup between R&F and Hong Kong Pegasus might seem like a David versus Goliath battle, it should be noted that Hong Kong Pegasus has gone undefeated in the month of October and is not going to be a walkover. Shu Sasaki and Charles Lokoli Ngoy have been gelling as a strike-force up-front and will be relishing the opportunity to lead Hong Kong Pegasus to a stunning upset. New addition Gabriel Mendez has proven to be a bag of tricks and will be a great threat to R&F.
Later on Saturday, Eastern Long Lions will meet up with Kwoon Chung Southern in Mongkok Stadium for the second Senior Shield quarter-final clash of the day. The match will go underway at 5:30pm.
Eastern Long Lions seem to be one of the most in-form sides in the premier league at the moment, as the side has started the season very well, occupying pole position in the premier league table as a result. Eastern Long Lions will be eager to end its trophy-draught from the past few seasons but things will not be easy for the premier league pace-setter, with a resilient Kwoon Chung Southern side standing on its way in the Senior Shield quarter-final. As a matter of fact, Kwoon Chung Southern beat Eastern Long Lions last month in a premier league fixture and that should be enough for Eastern Long Lions to serve notice.
Kwoon Chung Southern is coming off a morale-boosting 2:2 draw against Hong Kong Pegasus and spirit should be quite high in the Kwoon Chung Southern camp. Having gone unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, Kwoon Chung Southern is a solid and unyielding side. Led by head coach Ricky Cheng, goalkeeper Tse Tak-him and striker Travis Major, the Hong Kong Island-side is capable of beating any premier league side on any given day and will be giving Eastern Long Lions a serious run for its money on the weekend.
On Sunday afternoon, Kitchee will face Lee Man in Yuen Long Stadium for a Senior Shield quarter-final clash. The match will start at 2:30pm.
Reigning Senior Shield champion Kitchee will try to defend its trophy but things will be easier said than done. While the Shek Mun-based side is one of the two premier league teams that have remained unbeaten so far in the premier league circuit, Kitchee has nevertheless found itself in an unfamiliar slump – going winless in five games stemming from September. There is no doubt that the Kitchee lineup oozes with quality and experience and it remains to be seen whether a switch to the Senior Shield battleground can help jumpstart the team’s performance.
Lee Man defeated Best Union Yuen Long 3:0 in the first round of the Senior Shield and booked its place in the quarter-final. While the opening round victory against Best Union Yuen Long sure looked impressive, there is however signs of concern for Lee Man, as the side has suffered successive defeats entering the weekend, conceding eight goals from its last two losses. While Lee Man might look to be the underdog against Kitchee, it should also be noted that the side did hold Kitchee to a 2:2 draw last month in the Sapling Cup, proving there might actually not be much separating the two sides.
On late Sunday afternoon, Wofoo Tai Po and BC Rangers will square off in Mongkok Stadium for the last Senior Shield quarter-final fixture of the weekend. Kick-off time for the clash will be 5:30pm.
Things might be looking up for Wofoo Tai Po, as the New Territories side finally opened its winning account on the new premier league season by beating Best Union Yuen Long earlier this month. However, just when things look to be improving for Wofoo Tai Po, the side was dealt with a huge blow, as former co-head coach Kenneth Kwok recently announced his departure from the team. No one is sure how will Kwok’s departure effect the team and all eyes will be on head coach Fung Hoi-man to see whether he can rally his troops to overcome BC Rangers on the weekend.
Young BC Rangers is coming off a surprising 1:1 premier league draw against Kitchee and will be looking to upset Wofoo Tai Po in the Senior Shield quarter-final. Attackers such as Leandro Basan and Au Yueng Yiu-chung have been scoring for BC Rangers this season, supplying the team with much-needed goals. However, it is the eye-opening display by goalkeeper Lo Siu-kei that has been instrumental to the team’s performance so far this season. However, young Lo is on international duty with Hong Kong in the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualifiers at the moment and will likely miss the Senior Shield quarter-final as a result. Lo’s absence for the weekend might put a huge question-mark in the BC Rangers goal.