Lam Ka-wai’s stunning long-range bomb lifted Kitch

After going scoreless in back-to-back games, Kitchee broke out of its mini-funk in the premier league on Sunday afternoon by topping Wofoo Tai Po 1:0 away from home, courtesy of a majestic Lam Ka-wai wonder goal. The victory lifted Kitchee to the summit of the league table and extended the Blues’ unbeaten run in the premier league so far this season. Kitchee started the game with several changes in the lineup, most noticeably with Kim Bong Jin partnering Li Ngai-hoi in central defense. Lam Zhi Gin also reclaimed his spot in the starting lineup and Orhan Mustafi earned his first start in Kitchee colors. With the Blues going through a recent goal-draught, Kitchee players were extremely eager on the attacking-front. Unfortunately, the likes of Matthew Lam and Rufino Segovia all came up empty-handed with their attempts. Orhan Mustafi also came tantalizingly close for Kitchee but his strike hit the crossbar and stayed out of the net. Midfielder Lam Ka-wai, who had his header brilliantly saved by the Wofoo Tai Po keeper earlier in the game finally came to Kitchee’s rescue on the 70th minute by belting a sweet left-footer that handcuffed the opposing goalkeeper and went straight into the net. Lam’s spectacular goal turned out to be the eventual match-winner, as Kitchee topped Wofoo Tai Po 1:0. The win saw Kitchee climbed to the top of the premier league table and the Blues will stay there until the start of 2017, at the very least. Goal hero Lam Ka-wai, who started the game in midfield, indicated the goal meant a lot to him. “I came off the bench for some games earlier this season but missed several scoring chances. When we were preparing for this game, the coach kept reminding me to shoot more often. I do believe I am capable of shooting from afar but the most important thing is to get ready during training. We spent time studying Wofoo Tai Po’s defensive formats, tried to switch directions left-and-right and whenever we came up with spaces, we pulled the trigger and fired away,” Lam explained. The midfielder admitted it was a rare occurrence for the Blues to go through two games without hitting the back of the net but insisted the team’s confidence was not affected at all. “Our attack has always been strong and our front-line is full of quality. Even the strongest teams will go through some struggles every now and then, hence I am not all that worried. However, it is also true that we still have a lot of room for improvements.” Local defender Li Ngai-hoi, who earned a rare start on Sunday afternoon, was glad with the team’s performance, as well as his own. “I want to let people know that I am capable of starting. I think I did it on this occasion. We failed to score in the previous two games and maybe we were a bit up-tight. Things did not get any easier with this away game but we tried to stay focused and to play every ball well. As long as we keep playing our own style, we will always come up with the goals,” Li stressed. The promising defender also took the time to credit coaching member Cristiano Cordeiro for some pregame scouting advice. “Cris reminded me how dangerous Lucas Da Silva could be, therefore he gave me some pointers on how to defend such type of players. As a matter of fact, I have been learning a lot from him all along.”