Kitchee Dropped Crucial Points in AFC Cup with Hom

Even with its passionate supporters braving the cold and supporting the team from the stands, Kitchee could not come up with the much needed goal to breakdown the visiting New Radiant SC on Tuesday evening, as the home side was forced to a 0:0 draw against the Maldives side in an AFC Cup 2016 Group F battle. Despite the bone-chilling weather, Kitchee pretty much gained control of the game right from the get-go. The home side generated several decent scoring chances in the first half and none of them came closer than Sham Kwok-keung’s penalty box header, as the forward forced New Radiant SC goalkeeper to pull out a great save, before actually dropping the ball. Unfortunately, Kitchee failed to convert the rebound and the game stayed goalless heading into the half time interval. Kitchee continued to lay siege towards the New Radiant SC net in the second half and came especially close to opening the score, when Cheng Chin-lung’s wonder strike was cruelly rejected by the crossbar. Later in the game, Rufino Sgovia and Li Ngai-hoi both had opportunities to break the game open but somehow failed to find the back of the net, sealing Kitchee’s fate in the process. Director of Football Mr Alex Chu Chi-kwong believes losing in Singapore on the previous AFC Cup match day might have actually affected the team’s performance on Tuesday night. “We were a bit nervous during the game and you could tell our confidence was lacking, eventually affecting the team’s performance,” Chu observed. “Chris (Annan) will miss the next game due to suspension but I hope our two injured foreign players (Jorge Tarres and Fernando Recio) can return in time from their injuries. After all, under the 3 plus 1 foreign player rules in the AFC Cup, missing two of your foreign players on the pitch is going to put your team in a disadvantage.” Striker Rufino Sgovia continued to lead the line for Kitchee up front on Tuesday evening but could not come up with any goals this time around. The Spanish striker was quite upset about the result. “We did not play poorly at all but simply failed to score. That is football and if you cannot score, you cannot win,” stated the Kitchee danger man. “However, getting one point is not the end of the world. We just need to work hard in the remaining games, keep going for wins and try to achieve our goal.”