Harima’s Late Goal Sank Kaya FC and Powered Kitche


Gunning for the top spot in the AFC Cup 2016 Group F, Kitchee dug deep and narrowly edged Kaya FC in the Philippines on Tuesday afternoon through a 1:0 victory, courtesy to a late goal by youngster Harima Hirokane. The three points also saw Kitchee taking over the pole position in Group F after the win. Despite the sizzling hot weather, Kitchee showed great determination and managed to threaten the Kaya FC goal early in the game, through efforts from Rufino Sgovia and Lam Ka-wai. Unfortunately, the Kaya FC keeper stood his ground and turned away both efforts smartly. Right before the half time whistle, Kaya FC nearly took the lead but a “goal” was called back due to offside. In the second half, Kaya FC poured even more pressure towards the Kitchee defense but simply could not find the back of the net. Just when the game looked like heading to a draw, Kitchee substitute Harima Hirokane fired himself to hero status by knocking home from close-range and sealing a 1:0 victory for the Blues. Kitchee’s football director Alex Chu credits the side for executing the match plan perfectly and also gives goal-scoring hero Harima Hirokane lots of praise. “We told the players before the game that we should avoid wasting any unnecessary energy with the opponent in the first twenty minutes, while saving ourselves to make a push during the remainder of the game,” explained the Kitchee tactician. “Tiger (Harima Hirokane) is a legitimate threat on the right side and possesses great ability. Therefore when we spotted (Lo) Kwan-yee’s energy level had dropped late in the game, we immediately sent Tiger on, hoping to utilize his youthful energy.” Speedster Christian Annan joyfully shares his views on the game, as well as his excitement on seeing Kitchee chalking up yet another away victory, this time against Kaya FC in the Philippines. “The materials that they use for the artificial turf in this stadium is very different to what we have in the Jockey Club Kitchee Training Centre. It really hindered the bounces of the ball and made it an obvious advantage to Kaya FC,” Annan pointed out. “Starting the match at 3pm also meant the game was played in massively hot conditions. However, I am just extremely happy that we came up with a 1:0 victory here and snatched all three points.”