Kitchee Stumbled in Singapore with AFC Cup Loss ag

On Tuesday night’s AFC Cup 2016 Group F fixture, Kitchee dominated play for much of the game but somehow fell short against Singaporean side Balestier Khalsa 0:1 in Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore. With the tough away loss, Kitchee now finds itself occupying the second spot in Group F with three points from two games. Kitchee sent out a strong side for the match in Singapore, hoping to claim all three points from the encounter. The Hong Kong side managed to dominate play early in the game and created ample scoring chances, including legitimate opportunities from Lam Ka-wai, Sham Kwok-keung and Rufino Sgovia. However, it was Balestier Khalsa who took the lead on the 31st minute, when Zulkiffli Hassim capitalized on a counter-attack and fired his side in front. The home side almost expanded its lead later in the game, when Kitchee keeper Wang Zhenpeng was judged to have brought down Miroslav Kristic inside the box. However, the sure-handed custodian redeemed himself by saving the penalty-kick, keeping Kitchee in the game. Kitchee went pressing for the equalizer afterwards but was continuously denied by the Balestier Khalsa goalkeeper, including a sublime strike by substitute Cheng Chin-lung. At the end, it was simply not meant to be for Kitchee, as the side stumbled in Singapore and fell short against Balestier Khalsa 0:1. Striker Rufino Sgovia created lots of scoring opportunities throughout Tuesday’s game and was hugely disappointed with the outcome. Yet the Spaniard maintained Kitchee still has what it takes to win future AFC Cup games. “We had a lot of scoring chances in this game but failed to capitalize on any one of them. The opponent gave up on possession but somehow took one of the few chances that they had, which was a great disappointment for us. But please do not be worried. We are definitely going to win some more games down the road,” Rufino declared. Defender Tong Kin-man kept on supporting the team’s attack throughout ninety minutes but lamented the side’s inability to score from its chances. “We were in full control of the game, played very smoothly in the park and created lots of chances. The only thing that was missing was the final touch. The loss is a tough pill to swallow but I need to congratulate the opponent for its hard work and the victory,” the full-back offered.