Narrow Defeat against Hanoi T&T in Vietnam Seals K

Kitchee fought hard but fell short against Vietnamese side Hanoi T&T in the AFC Champions League 2016 Preliminary Stage 2 on Tuesday evening, suffering a heart-breaking 0:1 away defeat in Hanoi, Vietnam and crashing out of the AFC Champions League. Kitchee started the game rather brightly and twice came close top opening the goal through Christian Annan. Unfortunately for Kitchee, the Hong Kong speedster failed to find the back of the net on both occasions, as the game remained scoreless. Right before half-time, Hanoi T&T had a glorious chance to break the game open through a rare attack. However, Huang Yang came to Kitchee’s rescue and managed to clear the ball away near the goal-mouth. Hanoi T&T increased the pressure in the second-half and snatched the opening goal on the 61st minute through a Gonzalo Marronkle header. The Vietnamese side had further chances to pull away from Kitchee but was denied time and time again by the wonderful performance of Kitchee custodian Wang Zhenpeng. At the end, Kitchee simply failed to breakdown the Hanoi T&T defense and had to settle for a 0:1 defeat against the home side, crashing out of the AFC Champions League preliminary stage for the second year in a row. Goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng, who performed admirably in the Kitchee goal, believes the team’s inability to convert its scoring chances early in the game might have been the turning point of the match. “We played really well in the first-half and managed to generate a lot of scoring chances. Unfortunately, we simply could not capitalize on anyone of them,” explained the Kitchee shot-stopper. “We might have also over-exerted ourselves in the first-half, leading to a drop in our fitness level in the second-half, thus allowing the opponent to score afterwards, which is a pity.” Captain Lo Kwan-yee is generally satisfied with the team’s performance and also praises Kitchee’s travelling supporters. “We played well in the game and did a largely good job in terms of defending. We were also very united throughout the match and the only downfall was our inability to score first, giving the opponent the opportunity to score the deciding goal. This is something that we need to improve in the future,” said the Kitchee full-back. “On the other hand, I am very happy to see the supporters traveling afar to support the team. Hopefully, we can do well in the remaining season and repay their support for us.”