DBFC came out victorious as the top two sides fought out a close encounter on Saturday, winning 3-1 to close the gap on Scottish Stags to just one point. In a very competitive game, the young DB side opened the scoring through Krisna Korani, as he showed the Stags CB a clean pair of heels and finished smartly. Stags though were level after a long throw-in caused panic and confusion in the DB box resulting in a penalty that was duly dispatched. With DB shading possession but HK Scottish threatening from set plays, the game was basically settled in a brief spell where a Stags corner was headed onto the cross bar, but DB then broke clear to score on the counter. Pressing for the equalizer late on, Stags were undone again with another fine finish as Korani got his second to add to the Benji Ortega goal.
Wanchai Spartans continue to be the form team though going into Christmas as they rattled off another win, this time at the expense of Club Tropicana, all-be-it the 3-0 score-line perhaps flattered the Sparts as the match was a very even contest throughout. Spartans were gifted the opening goal in the first half when a Tropics lad inexplicably raised his arms to block a shot- Oli Baijings made no mistake from the resulting penalty. The game ebbed and flowed with both sides creating their fare share of chances, one in particular for Tropics as Colin Paisley went clean through and rounded the keeper, only to see bodies get back on the line to prevent the equalizer. Sparts then found a real moment of quality as Baijings hit a 40-yard ball over the top for Dan Barrie to cooly finish a looping shot over the keeper. Late on, as Tropics chased to salvage something, youngster Jack Ogden tapped home a third from close range. The win moves the Wanchai lads level on points with DBFC, one point from the top as the title looks more increasingly like just a three horse race.
Down in the relegation zone, J-Leaguers got a vital three points in their basement battle against Soho Spartans as they recorded a 4-0 win. With both teams creating chances, neither side found the quality before the break to open the scoring, but the Japanese guys came alive in the second half. Yuya Araki got the first, the second followed from the penalty spot (Shun Hamano). Two more long shots from Shunsuke Nishimura and Shunsuke Nakamura helped to move J-Leaguers off the bottom with six points, the same as Soho and now just two behind Scottish Eagles. They were beaten 3-1 by Corinthians, thanks to goals from Max Brackenbury, Alec Kotakis and Anthony Jurenko. Cors started the brighter of the two sides and got the first from a goalkeeping fumble. Eagles though equalized with a lovely finish before half time from Brent Sanson. Cors regained the lead from a set piece which was knocked down and volleyed home from close range and went on to seal the win with a soft penalty.
Elsewhere, HK Krauts came edged a five goal thriller against Goodfellas in a ding-dong affair on the narrow pitch in Wong Chuk Hang. Krauts raced into an early lead inside a minute as Fellas started slowly and with only 10 players, Simon Ranke with the goal. Alex Chen got the equalizer with Goodfellas now having 11 men, and that’s how things remained at half time. After missing some chances to pull clear, Fellas fell behind when Dani Mijic fired home from the penalty spot for the Germans. Roberto Pascerelli added a third before Patrick Milburn made it 3-2 but Krauts held on to take all three points. KCC Cavs were unable to raise a team against Irish Harps so forfeit the game 3-0.
Wishing all teams a very merry Christmas and looking forward to seeing how the season progresses in the new year with the cup and plate taking centre stage in early January.