Hong Kong Football Club started the new season by being many fans and pundits favourites to be relegated in the end while Yuen Long will be looking for an improved finish after being relatively active in the recent transfer window. Mark Hampson was at the game for offside.hk.
A crowd of just over 1400 people turned up to watch the season opener for both Yuen Long and visitors HKFC. It was a chance for the Yuen Long fans to see new signing Diego Higino in action following his summer move from Conquista-BA in Brazil.
Yuen Long started the match well by playing nice one touch football to win a corner within the first five minutes of the game; HKFC have struggled at set plays during the pre-season and on the evidence this past Sunday, it does not look like they have found a solution to their problems as Aleksander Randelovic was able to run unchallenged to the near post and head home past the HKFC keeper.
Unfortunately, that would be the last we saw of Randelovic as he pulled up chasing a loose ball on the 17th minute. HKFC started to win the 50/50 balls in the midfield and on the half an hour mark their hard work paid off as Smith collected the ball after advantage was played by the referee to fire home.
Yuen Long took the lead again straight from kickoff as a long ball was not dealt with by the HKFC and Yuen Long’s Tam Lok Kin was able to tap the ball into the net. Yuen Long doubled their lead in the 31st minute as a lovely over the top ball from Teko found Yip Tze Chun who was able to take the ball down and place the ball into the net. At half time, Yuen Long were up 3 to 1.
Yuen Long started the second half as they finished the first by pushing HKFC deep into their own half. After winning the ball in the middle of the pitch, Yuen Long showed their quality by playing one touch moving football to send number 19, Lai King Fung, clear to put the ball in the net and less than 5 minutes later it got worse for HKFC as Yip Tze Chun got his second of the match with a beautiful curling shot from outside of the area. To be fair to the HKFC keeper, his sight was blocked by the number of players in the box.
HKFC were able to grab their second of the game when they moved the ball quickly on the counter and number 16 was able to head home at the back post. HKFC had a penalty appeal waved away by the referee on the 82nd minute following a tangle in the Yuen Long box. HKFC trying to grab a third goal pushed bodies up, however after a sloppy past, Yuen Long launched a counter attack after a defence splitting pass from Yip Tze Chun sent Fabio Lopez on his way to scoring with a right footed show into the bottom corner of the net.
Deep into injury time, number 11, Yip Tze Chun celebrated what he thought was his hat trick goal as the referee firstly awarded the goal but after noticing his assistant’s flag ruled it offside. That was the last play of the match as the referee blew his whistle. Yuen Long start the season with a 6-2 win over HKFC though Yuen Long will know that they will face tougher tests over the course of the season.