The Legal League bids a fond farewell to Vikings stalwart Kim Rassmussen, but Wanchai Wolves spoiled the farewell party inflicting another defeat on his final game in Hong Kong. The luck has just not been with the Vikings lately, and here again they struck the woodwork no less than three times. To add insult to injury, Wolves opener also hit the cross bar but bounced over the line and an unnecessary penalty made it 2-0 and that’s how it finished. “Bottom team curse and exceptional goalkeeping” was how Kim summed it up and we all wish him well in the future. Shane Burdekin and Murphy Chan got the Wanchai goals. That win kept Wolves a point behind San P’s with a game in hand thanks to securing a hard fought 2-1 win at the hands of Mes. In a close game which could have gone either way, Chris Wright and Austin Tenny had San P two goals to the good, but Riccardo Russo halved the deficit. Mes hit the bar and had a late goal disallowed on a day to forget. Krauts remain at the summit after overcoming a stubborn Samurai Blue outfit 2-0. Moritz Krause broke the deadlock after 15 minutes and Bjorn Hasse doubled their advantage on the hour mark. A string of fine saves from Krauts’ keeper kept Sam Blue out preserving another clean sheet for the German side.
KCC Royals won again against Old Speckled Men in another close game at Kings Park. A doubly deflected free kick against the run of play by Frankie Ferreira put KCC a goal in front and just before HT, a moment of madness from an OSM lad saw him sent to the stands for a retaliatory punch. That put paid to any chances OSM had of getting back into the game as Kenneth Cheung sealed the victory early in the second half. Both teams will look forward to the rematch next week. Lastly, a competitive all be it drab 0-0 draw between Legal Head and Scottish Eagles leaves both teams in mid table.
In division 3, there were goals galore as 19 were scored in just 3 games, 11 of them coming in the game between Barbarians and HKZJ with the latter running out 7-4 winners. As the score line suggests, it was a cracking game for the attackers. ZJ were 3 up early on but Barbs pulled one back before the break. Some loose defending allowed Barbarians to make a fight of it, but 4 more goals saw ZJ home comfortably. Yu Xing Cao and De Yang Kong both got hat tricks while Wei Cheng Wei got the other as Barbs had a brace from Ngue Paul Olivier and single strikes from Conrad Akermand and Walter Vaz to thank for their four goals. DF Express overcame Bants by the odd goal in five in a testy battle but a fair result. DF took an early two goal lead thanks to a close-range finish from Pablo Garavito-Chong and a Wang Wei Zhi penalty, dusting himself down to score after being felled. Bants rallied with a left-wing free kick from Tom Hale and a late Jack Lam penalty. However, with tackles flying in at the death, DF got the win as Pablo scored his second of the game to leave Bants ruing missed opportunities and suggesting a touch of shooting practice is needed before next week. The other game to be played was a one-sided affair on a hot day out in Tuen Mun, where Straydogs kept the ball well and attacked early on, taking a two-goal advantage into the interval. The heat meant the pace of play was slow, and BOC should have got one back but saw their best chance cleared off the line. A third goal was scored late on and it was Leo Mimasu with a couple and Davis Wilky with the other doing the damage for the dogs.
In division one, it’s pretty much as you were at the top as Gunners, Irish Harps and DBFC all scored comfortable if not spectacular wins to maintain the status quo. The Irish lads were first up against J-Leaguers and the Japanese were in the ascendancy early, opening the scoring with a Kengo Takahashi goal and dominating the play. Harps were much better in the second half though and Liam Grant had the scores level. Po Sing Lam put them in front with a scuffed shot and Ronan O’Doyle got a late third from the left as the J-Leaguers showed fatigue and weary legs with just a small squad on the day. DBFC also won by a two-goal margin but kept a clean sheet in the process though Goodfellas felt they were hard done by as the linesman failed to notice a DB lad had played the ball, ruling it out for offside. David Rollinson took full advantage of the let off, scoring with a goal from a set piece. The linesman was equally as bad second half chatting to his mate instead of watching the game, and Ethan Squires got DB’s second to seal the points.
USRC Gunners responded on Monday night to return to the top after three first half goals without reply against KCC Cavs while the second half was goalless. A flowing move culminating in a tidy Giacomo Galina volley had USRC in front, and a weak GK punch left Jaime Hooper free to slot home in the corner for the second. In form winger Kieran McBride then pounced on a mis placed pass to drill home a third into the roof of the net and more opportunities were squandered to increase the score. KCC were much the better side second half creating numerous chances but failing to hit the target most of the time. Corinthians took advantage of the KCC loss to move 4 points clear of the drop zone after a narrow 1-0 win against Revolution. Cors started off poorly and were relieved to see the flag go up for offside and thus rule out a Revo opener and changed personnel at half time to freshen things up. This seemed to work as Roy Man got the breakthrough goal slotting home nicely into the corner then hanging on in the last twenty minutes.
Club Tropicana were narrowly defeated on Friday night as HK Scottish Stags’ surge up the league table continued after a one-nil success. Tropics were a tad fortunate to be all square at HT after the lineswoman flagged for offside despite a Tropics player standing on the post, but Stags did go ahead early in the second half with a swift counterattack finished off by Jordan Cottington. Tropics had a couple of half chances to snatch what perhaps would have been a deserved equalizer but were left without reward for their efforts. Finally, the Spartans derby saw honours even as the game finished 2-2, with Wanchai yet again finding themselves up against it after going down 2-0 at half time. A couple of sharp reactions to rebounds and second balls had Soho up at the break with Tom Lipton and Ian Samson on hand to score. Ali Thompson though scored with a great strike thumping home from long range then Chris Mendez equalised after good work down the left. A few opportunities from both teams came and went, most notably with Soho hitting the bar while Sparts relied on the aging legs of Stef Kelly and Uncle Jon Weatley with a depleted squad to see out the draw. A point apiece leaves Wanchai 4th and Soho 7th.