A crowd of 19,522 turned out to watch South China take on New York Cosmos on 19 February 2015, the first day of the Lunar New Year, in an entertaining encounter that needed a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner after the match finished in a 2-2 draw. Check out the offside.hk match report by Jeff Hardbattle.
Chan Siu Ki had put the caroliners ahead after he turned in a rebounded shot off the post, before Sebastian Guenzatti spectacularly volleyed home to level the scores. In the second half, Awal Mahala restored the home side’s lead when he found the net from a tight angle, only for Andres Flores to equalise in the 89th minute after his deflected shot looped over goalkeeper Christian Mora. Penalties were then required and it was New York Cosmos who came out on top, winning the shoot-out by 4-2.
In the 2014 Lunar Cup, only 13,432 fans came out to watch the final match with 4 teams on show. The increase of 6,000 this year could be explained by the cheaper ticket prices ($100 this year compared to $180 last year), or by possible growing interest in the new Premier League. Either way, it seems to be a step in the right direction for local football.
Author: Jeff Hardbattle
Photo Credits: Christopher KL Lau, JRP Borthwick, Jeremy Greenberg