|2020-21 Sapling Cup Group A - Lee Man 1:0 BC Rangers
Lee Man and BC Rangers gathered in Mongkok Stadium on Sunday evening to wrap up this season’s Sapling Cup group-stage fixtures. Michael N’dri’s first half goal proved to be the difference of the game, as Lee Man went on and beat BC Rangers 1:0 in the Group A encounter.
In the opening minutes, Lee Man’s Rinson Lau suffered an early injury and could not continue, forcing the team to go through unexpected but necessary changes. Substitute Chang Hei-yin was brought in to replace Lau.
Lee Man then came up with the first shot of the game on the 11th minute, as Wong Ho-chun pulled the trigger from the right flank and sent the ball straight towards the BC Rangers goal. However, Wong’s effort failed to trouble BC Rangers goalkeeper Lo Siu-kei and was easily claimed by the young custodian.
BC Rangers generated a solid scoring chance on the 15th minute. Veteran skipper Lam Ka-wai unloaded a sweet, curling free-kick towards the Lee Man net, forcing out a sensational save by goalkeeper Yuen Ho-chun. Both players did very well on the occasion.
Lee Man drew first blood of the game on the 23rd minute. Wong Ho-chun made a great move down the right wing and whipped an inviting cross towards the BC Rangers goal-mouth. Striker Michael N’dri took up great position and duly knocked the ball home through a leaping header, putting Lee Man in front.
Lee Man nearly doubled its lead on the 34th minute, as the BC Rangers defense failed to clear away a Lee Man corner-kick. Tang Hong-yin unleashed a quick shot from inside the penalty area but failed to beat BC Rangers keeper Lo Siu-kei with his shot.
BC Rangers tried patiently searching for the equalizer but failed to come up with any substantial opportunity. The first half eventually ended with Lee Man enjoying a one-goal lead.
Lee Man almost expanded its lead on the 56th minute. Argentine attacker Jonatan Acosta intercepted a pass between two BC Rangers players in their own half, then quickly unleashed a cheeky lob shot towards goal. Unfortunately for Lee Man, Acosta’s shot lacked the required pace to beat BC Rangers goalkeeper Lo Siu-kei.
On the 65th minute, BC Rangers’ Tang Lok-man was brought down by Lee Man’s Serhii Shapoval on a fast break. The referee quickly showed Shapoval a straight red card. Lee Man was down to ten men with around twenty-five minutes to go.
However, BC Rangers’ numerical advantage proved to be short-lived. On the 70th minute, BC Rangers’ Fernando Alcantara brought down Lee Man’s Kim Seung Yong. Once again, the referee took out the red card from his pocket and this time, gave Alcantara his marching orders. Both sides were now left with ten men on the pitch.
On the ensuing free-kick, Lee Man almost pulled further away, as Kim Seung Yong’s free-kick was smartly paved away by Lo Siu-kei in the BC Rangers net.
The 1:0 score stood towards the final whistle, as Lee Man edged BC Rangers by a lone goal on the evening.