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2019-20 HKFA FA CUP - Wofoo Tai Po 2(3):2(5) R&F 2020-03-22

Wofoo Tai Po squared off against R&F in Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon for a thrilling FA Cup semi-final clash. Both sides competed hard throughout regulation and extra-time yet failed to solve each other. At the end, R&F came out on top and defeated Wofoo Tai Po 2:2 (5:3), advancing to the FA Cup final.

R&F came up with the first scoring chance of the game. On the 6th minute, Serge Deble sent the ball into the Wofoo Tai Po box with a delicate pass. Giovane Da Silva gained control of the ball but side-footed it wide off target. Wofoo Tai Po dodged a bullet early in the game.

Wofoo Tai Po went knocking on the R&F door for the first time in the game on the 19th minute. Eugene Mbome floated a looping ball into the R&F penalty area. Yuto Nakamura applied a rather tame header towards goal and failed to cause R&F goalkeeper Zhou Yuchen any serious trouble.

On the 29th minute, Wofoo Tai Po came up with two superb chances to break the game open, as Kim Min-ki unleashed, not one but two, spectacular laser beams within a span of thirty seconds. However, R&F goalkeeper Zhou Yuchen stood tall on both occasions and denied Kim with two equally remarkable flying saves.

Afterwards, Wofoo Tai Po continued to pressure the R&F goal. On the 44th minute, Kim Minki did some fantastic work down the left-wing before knocking the ball towards the middle. Sun Ming-him failed to pull the trigger under pressure, yet Yuto Nakamura managed to get off a decent shot from close-range but saw his effort courageously charged away by R&F goalkeeper Zhou Yuchen.

The game remained scoreless heading into the half-time break.

Early in the second-half, both sides each had chances to pull in front. On the 53rd minute, Serge Deble gave chase to a teammate’s forward pass, darted into the Wofoo Tai Po box on the left-wing and drilled a tight angle shot towards goal. Unfortunately for the mainland side, Wofoo Tai Po goalkeeper Felix Luk was in perfect position and paved the ball away.

Moments later, Wofoo Tai Po nearly nicked the lead through a counter-attack. Kim Seung Yong flew down the left-wing before sending the ball into the R&F penalty area. Kim Minki went for a quick shot but saw his strike took a deflection off an R&F player and went out of play.

It was back to R&F’s turn on the 59th minute. Serge Deble played a superb one-two with Giovane Da Silva on the right-wing and darted into the Wofoo Tai Po box with the ball. Deble then unleashed a cheeky lob-shot, only to see Sun Ming-him coming to the secure for Wofoo Tai Po and cleared the ball away through an acrobatic effort.

R&F finally broke the stalemate on the 69th minute. Matthew Lam floated a long ball into the Wofoo Tai Po penalty area. Serge Deble nodded the ball forward, allowing Giovane Da Silva to fire a close-range shot but was turned away by goalkeeper Felix Luk. Igor Sartori seized the opportunity, latched onto the rebound and smashed the ball home. R&F was now in front.

Wofoo Tai Po had a decent chance to tie the game on the 78th minute, as Kim Seung Yong’s curling free-kick from the left-flank bent just wide off the R&F goal-post.

The New Territories side left it late in the game and equalized. Yeung Chi-lun made a long throw-in and got the ball into the R&F box. Michel Lugo’s leaping header was rejected by the R&F woodwork. Luis Chebel connected with the rebound at the doorstep and headed the ball home. The game was now tied at 1:1.

The game duly went into extra-time.

Wofoo Tai Po went on and took the lead on the 98th minute. Kim Seung Yong picked out Michel Lugo with a lovely forward pass. The latter made a great run down the left-wing and reached the R&F box, before ripping a left-footer that hit the goal-post and entered the net. Wofoo Tai Po now had the lead.

On the 105th minute, R&F almost found the equalizer. Lo Kong-wai pulled the ball back for teammate Tiago De Leonco. The latter unloaded a ferocious drive but was denied by a smart save from Wofoo Tai Po goalkeeper Felix Luk.

The mainland side drew level early in the second-half of extra-time. On the 108th minute, R&F’s Bai He sent a sweet delivery into the Wofoo Tai Po penalty area. Tiago De Leonco beat a Wofoo Tai Po player to the ball and nodded it home. The game was now tied at 2:2.

Both sides failed to solve each other after extra-time and the match required penalty-shootout to determine the outcome.

At the end, R&F managed to beat Wofoo Tai Po 2:2 (5:3) and claimed a coveted FA Cup final berth.

 

Wofoo Tai Po 2(3):2(5) R&F

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