Leonardo’s goal lifted Kitchee past Wofoo Tai Po i


Kitchee made a positive start on its return to the premier league battleground on Saturday afternoon by edging the in-form Wofoo Tai Po 1:0, courtesy of an Alessandro Leonardo goal. The three points gained in the league standing helped Kitchee continued its push to reach the top of the premier league summit. Despite facing one of the in-form sides in the premier league, Kitchee had no trouble generating scoring opportunities to start the game. Lo Kwan-yee came tantalizingly close to opening the score for the Blues, as the Captain found himself on the receiving end of a Daniel Cancela cross, then dove for the ball but headed it wide at the far post. However, Kitchee was not to be denied and went in front moments later, when Fernando Pedreira showed off some nifty moves down the left side before delivering the ball towards the goal-mouth. Alessandro Leonardo buried the chance and fired the ball home with ease, setting up the Blues for a 1:0 lead all the way towards the interval. Wofoo Tai Po made several personnel changes in the second half and started to get more involved in the game. David Zana came up with the best chance for the New Territories side, as the Brazilian pulled the trigger from the left side but saw his thunderbolt sensationally turned away by Kitchee custodian Wang Zhenpeng, preserving Kitchee’s lead in the process. The 1:0 score somehow stood towards the final whistle, as Kitchee secured all three points on the day. Captain Lo Kwan-yee believes picking up three vital points ahead of the two-week break in domestic competition should do the Blues a world of good in the remaining premier league title-chase. “We were a bit fatigued throughout the game and did not perform up to our usual standard. However, with a two-week break coming up, I think it is going to inject some much-needed life back into the squad,” Lo predicted. “From my own experience, competing in the AFC Champions League will often lead to a post-Champions League syndrome, with sides feeling tired or suffering a loss of form. I think Eastern Long Lions will go through that as well so hopefully, we can regain our freshness after the break, win all of our league games and overtake our main rival in the remainder of the premier league season.” Daniel Cancela had a lively game against Wofoo Tai Po and credited a well-executed game-plan as the main reason why the Blues came up with the victory. “We did our homework and predicted Wofoo Tai Po’s wingers would be very aggressive, thus exposing spaces at the back for us to attack. I am just grateful that we capitalized on our chances and scored. Wofoo Tai Po made some tactical changes in the second half and regained momentum somewhat, yet we managed to buckle down and still came up with all three points,” offered the Kitchee veteran.