Unlikely scoring hero led Kitchee past Hong Kong P


In-form Kitchee took on Hong Kong Pegasus in the FA Cup quarter-final on Thursday evening. The Blues capitalized on a Helio Goncalves goal and grinded out a 1:0 victory over the opponent, punching its ticket for the semi-final. Kitchee almost went ahead early in the game. Unfortunately, Lam Zhi Gin’s free-kick from the left wing found the Hong Kong Pegasus goal-post and stayed out of the net. Late in the first-half, Hong Kong Pegasus’ Travis Major connected with a teammate’s corner-kick and hit the woodwork. The ball was then alertly pushed over the crossbar by Guo Jianqiao in the Kitchee net. The game was 0:0 heading into the interval. Kitchee finally took the lead on the 64th minute, when Jared Lum’s free-kick was punched away by Kristijan Naumovski. Krisztian Vadocz then headed the rebound straight towards goal, only to be rejected by the crossbar. Helio Goncalves was in perfect position and nodded the ball home from close-range, putting Kitchee in front. Hong Kong Pegasus desperately tried to tie the game afterwards and launched attack after attack at the Kitchee goal. Thankfully, goalkeeper Guo Jianqiao stood on his head and preserved the victory for Kitchee, as the Blues narrowly edged Hong Kong Pegasus 1:0 and made it to the next round of the competition. Centre-back Helio Goncalves, who netted his first goal of the season and helped Kitchee made it to the FA Cup semi-final, was overjoyed by the outcome of the evening. “Hong Kong Pegasus is a strong side. They gave us a lot of pressure during the game and actually put us in trouble at times. Thankfully, we rallied together and held on to the victory, advancing to the FA Cup semi-final,” said the towering defender. “It has been a long time since I last scored. Therefore I am really pleased to score the match-winner and to help the side to make it to the next round of the competition. I also want to dedicate the goal to my pregnant wife and the baby inside her!” said an elated Goncalves after the game. Goalkeeper Guo Jianqiao, who was only making his seventh appearance of the season for Kitchee on the evening, was generally satisfied with the team’s performance. “We faced a stiff challenge against Hong Kong Pegasus on the evening. We fielded several players who were not regulars in the lineup and that probably affected our defensive game. I am glad we galvanized as a team, defeated the opponent and made it to the next round. All in all, I have to be satisfied with the team’s performance. Hopefully, this can give us some extra confidence, as we are due to face Hong Kong Pegasus in the premier league in a few days,” Guo stated.