Kitchee blanked by Kwoon Chung Southern, suffered

With the premier league title firmly on its sights, Kitchee travelled to face Kwoon Chung Southern on Saturday afternoon for an all-important premier league fixture, hoping to rack up a victory ahead of next week’s AFC Champions League preliminary round battle. However, things did not go according to plans, as the Blues suffered a tough 0:1 loss despite generating chance after chance throughout the game. The loss was Kitchee’s first premier league defeat of the season. Despite playing away from home, Kitchee maintained its possession and aggressive game through a strong starting lineup and even earned a penalty in the first-half, when the opposing player committed a hand-ball inside his own box. Unfortunately, Matthew Lam’s spot-kick was saved by the Kwoon Chung Southern keeper, denying the Blues the opportunity to go in front. Kwoon Chung Southern broke the game open with a long-range strike in the second half and Kitchee responded with wholesale changes, sending in Alessandro Leonardo, Fernando Pedreira and Krisztian Vadocz, further bolstering its attack. Rufino Segovia came close to tying the game with a header but was turned away by the opposing keeper, then Leonardo’s rebound trickled through the keeper’s body and went out of play. Jared Lum also had a splendid chance but his header hit the woodwork, while Leonardo’s close-range blast was sensationally pushed aside by the keeper, sealing Kitchee’s fate on the day. Fernando Pedreira, who came on as a substitute, was understandably disappointed by the outcome but took the defeat on the chin. “You need to capitalize on your chances and that is the golden rule of football. Kwoon Chung Southern took their opportunity and scored a screamer, maybe this is the best game that they have played all season. We had our moments and chances throughout the game but we did not take advantage of them, so there is really nothing much to say. We can only keep trying in the future, as the league title-chase is far from over,” expressed the Brazilian. Kitchee Head Coach Alex Chu pointed out the team was unable to find match rhythm in the first-half. However, after conceding the eventual match-winner, his side actually played much more relaxed and started to come up with more chances. “We had five or six chances that could have turned into goals but could not find the back of the net,” Chu stated. “Everyone in the premier league has strengthened in the second-half of the season and it is possible for teams to drop points against one another. Dropping a point on one or two occasions could be deemed normal.”