Kitchee Brushed off South China in Finale, Success

Kitchee continued its dominating form in the League Cup on Saturday afternoon by overpowering arch-rival South China 3:0 in the League Cup finale, courtesy to a brace from Alexander Akande and a coolly executed spot kick by Rufino Sgovia. The victory also saw the Blues successfully defending the League Cup trophy. Kitchee got off to a fantastic start and opened the score on the 5th minute, when Matthew Lam’s cross was headed home by Alexander Akande. Goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng was put to severe tests afterwards but the Kitchee custodian answered the bell by saving Carlos Vieira’s free-kick and Ryan Griffiths’ header, preserving Kitchee’s lead into half time. Early in the second half, Alessandro Ferreira’s shot led to a South China player committing a foul inside his own box. Rufino Sgovia stepped up to the penalty spot and dully sent the ball into the back of the net, doubling Kitchee’s lead. Moments later, Kitchee added another goal when Huang Yang intercepted a pass and picked out teammate Jered Lum with a fine pass. The latter then sent the ball towards the South China box, which was then directed into the net by yet another Alexander Akande header, making it 3:0 and helping Kitchee to secure its first major trophy of the season. Alexander Akande, who netted a brace in the League Cup final, was understandably ecstatic after the game and thanked the Kitchee fans for their support. “We did very well today and everyone in the team played tremendously. It was a very exciting performance indeed,” said the lanky forward. “We need to keep working hard, sustain our form and the fine performance because there are still a lot of games ahead of us. We just need to keep on winning!” Captain Lo Kwan-yee spoke about how difficult it was to maintain a clean sheet in the League Cup final and the team really gave its all on the pitch. “It was a difficult game as the opponent kept pressing us high on the pitch and putting a lot of pressure on our defense. However, we managed to score early in the match and forced them to rush their game, thus opening up more space for us on the pitch,” observed the Kitchee full-back. The Kitchee icon also pointed out that capitalizing on the scoring opportunities and hard work were keys to the team’s success. “Both sides had similar number of chances but maybe we did slightly better than the opponent. The team also gave a really good effort and I thought we were thoroughly deserving on winning the trophy,” Lo stated.