Kitchee showed tremendous bottle and drew Eastern

Kitchee grinded out a spirited 0:0 draw against Eastern Long Lions on Saturday’s highly-charged premier league affair despite playing the last thirty minutes with a man short. The Blues have now drawn its second goalless match in a row and while the side still trails table-topping Eastern Long Lions by two points in the title-chase, Kitchee players nevertheless showed their never-give-up attitude during the match, which warmed the hearts of the Kitchee faithful. Kitchee was gunning for maximum points from the encounter and started the game aggressively. Rufino Segovia had multiple chances in the first half but failed to find the back of the net. Kim Bong Jin also drilled a dangerous long range shot before the interval but could not beat the crossbar. After the game resumed in the second half, Helio Goncalves picked up his second yellow card of the game and his marching orders, rendering Kitchee to ten men. The side lost control of the match being a man down but thankfully, goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng and the rest of the defense crops stepped up their games and defended courageously. Substitutes Tong Kin-man, Alessandro Leonardo and debutant Orhan Mustafi were all sent to the pitch in order to try to turn the table for the Blues and it was Leonardo who came close with a shot but failed to find the target. At the end, Kitchee had to settle for another goalless draw, this time against Eastern Long Lions. Midfielder Jared Lum, who was back in the Kitchee starting line-up, offered his post-game comments after the final whistle. “I am happy to be back in the starting lineup for the big game and I tried my best to help the team to snatch a win. Unfortunately, things did not quite go our way. Prior to Helio’s red card, I thought we had the upper-hand of the game. However, the tide changed after we went down to ten men. We were under immense pressure then but still went for the victory. Now that is the Kitchee spirit – always trying for the three points and not settling for just another tie.” “It is true that we are still two points behind Eastern Long Lions in the title chase but the premier league still has a long way to go. A draw is not the end of the world and there will still be opportunities for us to overtake them in the remainder of the season,” Lum commented. Kitchee debutant Orhan Mustafi gave the Hong Kong Premier League match-day experience a thumbs-up after the heavy-weight encounter. “It is a pity that we cannot come up with a victory. As a player, I am not the one who controls my playing time. All I can do is to prepare well and no matter I play two minutes or ten minutes, I still have to prepare well and be ready if my name ever gets called,” the Swiss striker said. “Although we went a man down in the second half, we still tried to go for the victory. That was quite impressive. At the end, getting a draw is much better than losing the game out right and hopefully, next time when we come across Eastern Long Lions, we can come up with all three points.”