|Another round of exciting premier league fixtures looming
Happy Valley and Kitchee are due to faceoff in Mongkok Stadium on Friday evening for the latest clash in the BOC Life Hong Kong Premier League. The match will start at 20:00.
Despite gaining a point from the team’s previous league draw against Kwoon Chung Southern, it probably felt like a loss of two points for Happy Valley, as the side allowed a late equalizer by James Ha in the dying moment. As a middle-of-the-table side, Happy Valley boasts solid quality throughout the lineup. Miakel Severo, Charlie Scott and Luciano Da Silva are all quality performers in their own rights, while local players such as To Chun-kiu and Lam Hin-ting are also quietly establishing themselves in the premier league. Emerging forward Chu Wai-kwan scored a stunning header in the previous game and should be entering Friday’s fixture with a healthy level of confidence.
Premier league leader Kitchee extended its unbeaten run in all league-and-cup fixtures to nine games last weekend by overpowering RCFC 3:0. The Shek Mun-side has racked up four straight premier league wins recently, while scoring ten goals and only conceding once. Despite joining the team midway of the season, veteran striker Dejan Damjanovic has already racked up seven premier league goals – co-leading the premier league scoring chart with Eastern Long Lions forward Alessandro Leonardo. The wily veteran added another brace in the victory over RCFC and remains the hottest player in the Kitchee lineup.
On Saturday afternoon, Eastern Long Lions will take on Lee Man in the lone BOC Life Hong Kong Premier League fixture of the day. The match will take place in Mongkok Stadium and kick-off time is set for 15:00.
Eastern Long Lions, currently sitting second in the premier league table, are coming off a surprising 2:2 draw against BC Rangers earlier in the week and will be seeking to get back on the winning track in the earliest possible manner. While dropping two points against BC Rangers was certainly disappointing for Eastern Long Lions, it should be noted that the team did generate numerous scoring chances in the game and actually hit the goal-post or crossbar multiple times. Striker Alessandro Leonardo currently shares the premier league top-scorer lead with Kitchee front man Dejan Damjanovic and should be driving Eastern Long Lions’ quest for three points on the weekend.
Ambitious Lee Man has been struggling with form these days, as the side dropped back-to-back league matches against Kitchee and Tin Shui Wai Pegasus. With third-place side Tin Shui Wai Pegasus gradually establishing distance between itself and Lee Man in the league table, the latter must start picking up points in order to maintain its presence near the top. Spanish striker Manuel Bleda only has a single goal from four matches since joining Lee Man and will likely need to step up his goal-production to keep Lee Man competitive on the field.
BC Rangers and Kwoon Chung Southern will square off in Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon for the opening BOC Life Hong Kong Premier League fixture of the day. The match will go underway at 15:00.
BC Rangers came extremely close to serving up a huge upset to Eastern Long Lions earlier in the week. It was only a stoppage time equalizer from Eastern Long Lions’ Clayton Afonso that prevented BC Rangers from claiming all three points against the premier league powerhouse. As a result, BC Rangers now finds itself going through a five-game winless streak and is looking for ways to break out of the funk. Veteran skipper Lam Ka-wai scored a cracking goal on Monday evening and his presence in the BC Rangers lineup is extremely influential.
Kwoon Chung Southern continues to reside at the foot of the premier league table, lagging behind seventh-place RCFC based on head-to-head records. With a nine-game winless streak hanging over its head, confidence is understandably low in the Kwoon Chung Southern camp. However, James Ha’s late equalizer in the previous fixture powered Kwoon Chung Southern to a 3:3 draw against Happy Valley last week and should somehow lift the team’s spirits. Goalkeeper Tse Tak-him has been one of the few positives in Kwoon Chung Southern’s recent slump and will continue to play an important role in his side’s quest to break out from the current skid.
Later on Sunday afternoon, Tin Shui Wai Pegasus will host RCFC in Yuen Long Stadium for the last remaining BOC Life Hong Kong Premier League fixture of the weekend. The match will start at 17:30.
Tin Shui Wai Pegasus showed great character in the previous fixture by coming from a goal down and snatched a 3:1 victory over Lee Man. Tricky winger Marcos Da Silva also starred in the match by recording an impressive hat-trick, powering his side to back-to-back victories. As a matter of fact, Tin Shui Wai Pegasus’ offense has shown signs of heating up, as the side has scored eight goals in the past four matches. Burly striker Jose Dos Santos and winger Sun Ming-him have both been playing prominent roles on the field, allowing Marcos Da Silva to cause havoc to the opponents.
Things have not gone well for RCFC recently, as the premier league minnow is mired in a three-game losing streak. To make matters worse, RCFC has allowed eleven goals in the three losses, leaving the team with mountains to climb on the pitch. Emerging young guns such as Yue Tsz-nam, Wong Wai-kwok and Lam Chun-kit have been playing their hearts out on the field and must be given more support by their fellow teammates.
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