Fernando stars as Kitchee edges Wofoo Tai Po to cl


Eager to add the Sapling Cup to the Club’s ever-expanding trophy cabinet, Kitchee defeated Wofoo Tai Po 2:1 in the Sapling Cup final on Saturday afternoon, winning the tournament for the very first time in the Blues’ distinguished history. Kitchee nearly took the lead briefly after the start of the game, as Fernando Pedreira picked up the ball through an Alessandro Leonardo pass, then pulled the trigger inside the box but witnessed his effort charged away by a Wofoo Tai Po defender. Midway in the first-half, Kim Dong Jin dished out a tasty free-kick that hit the Wofoo Tai Po woodwork and bounced out of play. The score remained goalless, as both sides returned to the dressing room for the half-time break. The pace of the game dropped significantly in the second-half, as both sets of players seemed to be affected by the weather conditions. Late in the game, Daniel Cancela burst down the left wing before sending a great cross towards the Wofoo Tai Po goal-mouth. Fernando Pedreira came flying in at the back-post and fired the ball home from a tight angle, breaking the stalemate. Moments later, the Brazilian converted a rebound from inside the box and made it 2:0 for the Blues. Deep in stoppage time, Wofoo Tai Po managed to pull one back through a Leung Kwun-chung header but it was too little too late for the New Territories side, as Kitchee held onto the 2:1 lead and snatched its first ever Sapling Cup trophy in the Club’s distinguished history. Two-goal hero Fernando Pedreira, who was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the Sapling Cup final, was ecstatic to lead Kitchee to its first ever Sapling Cup trophy. “This is not an easy cup final and I am very tired right now. Yet for us to come up with the Club’s first ever Sapling Cup trophy, this is indeed very special,” the Brazilian said with his trademark smile after the final. “On the other hand, I am very happy to see our young players experiencing the joy of winning a cup final. They have worked very hard in training throughout the course of the season and maybe they did not get too many chances in the premier league but now, they can finally reap their rewards in the Sapling Cup.” Teenage sensation Barak Braunshtain was thrilled about the team’s Sapling Cup triumph and credited his veteran teammates for their help throughout the final. “The opponent and the game-time weather made it a very tough Sapling Cup final,” shared Braunshtain. “Thankfully, my experienced teammates remained very calm throughout the battle and led us through the game, as Fernando (Pedreira) converted Dani’s (Cancela) great cross late in the regulation and broke the stalemate. The whole team deserves great credit for this victory.”