Late goal by Tianjin Quanjian sunk courageous Kitc

Playing in front of a capacity crowd under feverish atmosphere, Kitchee went toe-to-toe against mainland side Tianjin Quanjian in the latest AFC Champions League Group E fixture. The Blues matched the opponent shot for shot, tackle by tackle on the evening but somehow conceded late and ended up on the wrong side of a 0:1 score-line. The heartbreaking defeat also sent Kitchee crashing out of the tournament with one more round of fixtures to go. Bolstered by gritty players and home field advantage, Kitchee stormed out of the barn and gave Tianjin Quanjian a serious run for its money in the first half. The Blues came extremely close to breaking the game open through chances from Diego Forlan and Alexander Akande but failed to convert, subsequently ending the first-half in a goalless draw. Kitchee continued to generate goal-scoring opportunities after the break, with Krisztian Vadocz and Jorge Tarres both came close to opening the score for the Blues. Just when it looked like the game would end in a draw, Tianjin Quanjian’s Anthony Modeste broke the deadlock with a close-range header, snatching all three points for the mainlanders and breaking Kitchee’s heart on the evening. Despite witnessing his side conceding late and dropping all three points, Kitchee head coach Alex Chu maintains he is quite satisfied with his troops’ performance on the evening. “We faced Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian, played with discipline throughout the match, executed our game-plan and pretty much corrected all our mistakes from the previous away defeat in China against the same opponent,” Chu offered his assessment. “To wrap up the AFC Champions League group stage home fixtures in such a manner will serve as a decent memory and hopefully, Kitchee will have another chance to compete in this kind of level down the road.” Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan, who was selected as the Player of Match, was pleased with the Kitchee’s showing in this year’s competition. “While we might not be the strongest team in the group, we still played very well in the match against Tianjin Quanjian,” Forlan expressed after the game. “Facing a Tianjin Quanjian side that has a lot of quality players, I thought we actually came up with more scoring chances than them. I am very proud to see Kitchee proving that it has what it takes to compete against the other strong sides.”