Kitchee lands unprecedented back-to-back Treble by

Wofoo Tai Po 2:1, successfully nailing down the last piece of silverware of the domestic football season, while writing new history in the Hong Kong Premier League by becoming the first ever back-to-back Treble winner. Kitchee originally had goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng penciled in for the FA Cup Final but Wang got injured in the warm up and Guo Jianqiao had to step in and take over the job between the sticks. Guo responded to the late call in fabulous fashion, as the Kitchee custodian turned away Eduardo Praes’ close-range header in the opening minutes and set the Blues up nicely for what might be coming later in the afternoon. Later in the first-half, Kitchee kept knocking on the Wofoo Tai Po door and came close to opening the score, as Kim Dong Jin fired from inside the opponent’s box but witnessed his effort cleared off the goal-line by a Wofoo Tai Po player. Kitchee made several substitutions in the second-half hoping to bust the game open and finally got its break. On the 73rd minute, Alexander Akande connected with a Jared Lum cross and nodded the ball home with ease, putting the Blues in front. Moments later, Jared Lum went from provider to goal-scorer, as the Kitchee midfielder sent a sublime free-kick into the back of the Wofoo Tai Po net, doubling Kitchee’s lead in the process. Igor Sartori managed to pull one back for Wofoo Tai Po late in the game but it was too little too late for the New Territories side, as Kitchee held on to its lead and marched towards the unprecedented back-to-back Treble. Midfielder Jared Lum, who had a major hand in Kitchee’s latest FA Cup triumph with one goal and one assist in the finale, was named the Most Valuable Player of the final. The tenacious midfielder spoke about feeling extremely proud of achieving the “Double Treble” with Kitchee. “It was our first time competing in the AFC Champions League this season, thus everyone thought winning the premier league title and backing things up would be a good target for the team. At the end, creating premier league history and becoming back-to-back Treble winner is indeed a pleasant surprise,” Lum reflected. “I am aware the team might be breaking up this summer with several players potentially departing. However, I can tell you that this is one heck of a Kitchee side and you will be hard-pressed to field another team just as good as this one in the near future.” Defender Tong Kin-man displayed tremendous pride in Kitchee’s sensational achievements this season and was extremely pleased with the team’s ability to maintain a high level of performance through out the course of the season. “We went through a grueling season together and only tasted one defeat the whole season. Mind you, we only dropped that decision in extra-time in the Senior Shield semi-final. Everyone really contributed immensely, as we marched towards yet another Treble-winning season,” Tong expressed. “To go through the extremely challenging AFC Champions League group stage and then come back and win two cup finals late season under stifling heat, I am truly very proud of my teammates.”