Kitchee falls short in quest for Hong Kong Jockey

Kitchee went for the Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Cup on Friday afternoon but fell short for the third occasion, this time against Eastern Long Lions 1:3, once again coming up empty-handed in the charity game. Despite the loss, Kitchee still managed to secure a $50,000 donation for United Christian Hospital in the process. In order to provide some much needed playing time for squad players, Kitchee applied several changes in the starting lineup for the game. In the early stage, the Blues had great chances to open the score yet unfortunately, Hirokane Harima and Alexander Akande both failed to convert their chances. Afterwards, Eastern Long Lions started to take over the match and it was not long until Michel Lugo opened the score for the opponent, securing a half-time lead. Kitchee made several substitutions to start the second-half and reaped immediate rewards, as Pau Bosch powered home a thunderous header to equalize for Kitchee. Moments later, Alexander Akande broke behind the Eastern Long Lions defense but saw his double-shot turned aside by keeper Yapp Hung-fai. Eastern Long Lions then pulled away with goals by Manuel Rodriguez and Jaimes Mckee, once again sending Kitchee home disappointed from the Community Cup. Kitchee head coach Alex Chu indicates the team did not fare well in the exciting encounter but still feels somewhat satisfied with the young players’ performances on Friday. “For young players like Hirokane Harima and Law Tsz-chun, they need actual playing time to build up their experience. In fact, I need to hand out playing time to all players in the squad,” said Chu. “Everyone in the Kitchee squad is very important and we need to give them playing time in different occasions. The Community Cup is one of these occasions.” With four players making their season debut for Kitchee on Friday, the backline also went through changes but Chu insists he needs to test various combinations in actual game situation. “I think the players performed in an acceptable level and Pau (Bosch) played an OK match,” assessed the Kitchee tactician. “We lost the game and it is natural for the outsiders to think that we had a stinker. But I will go through the match tape, analyze our performance and come up with some much needed adjustments.” “While we might have lost the game, the players have picked up valuable experience from the battle. There is a very fine line between winning and losing in football. The game was a very close encounter and we had our chances to win as well.”