Group I: Kitchee SC 2-4 Wofoo Tai Po
Hong Kong: Two dramatic late goals gave Wofoo Tai Po their first ever AFC Cup victory as they beat Hong Kong rivals Kitchee SC 4-2 in their Matchday One Group I clash on Wednesday.
The visitors made a decent early opening when Igor Sartori’s low cross from the left found Sandro, but the striker couldn’t keep his shot down.
Hirokane Harima then had a good chance for the home side after a through pass from Jordi Tarres. But the striker’s tame effort lacked conviction and it was comfortably saved by Tai Po goalkeeper Tsang Man Fai.
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The Tai Po 'keeper had to make a better save when a corner from the left found Helio, whose powerful header was pushed wide.
Tai Po then netted the opening goal in bizarre fashion in the 31st minute when Joao Emir received a quick free-kick, surged forward and sent in a speculative shot from 35 yards. The swerve on the shot deceived Kitchee 'keeper Wang Zhenpeng and sneaked into the net.
Things got worse for the home side five minutes into the second half. Sartori’s fine solo run saw him cut in from the left and drill a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Kitchen kept fighting and pulled one back in the 63rd minute. Following a corner, the ball broke to Tarres, whose shot on the turn came off the post. The rebound fell kindly for Fernando who guided the ball into the far corner.
Sandro’s swerving shot was then nervously pushed out by Wang Zhenpeng to prevent Tai Po from restoring their two-goal lead.
With the game swinging from end to end, Tarres failed to get enough contact on a header and watched the ball drift agonisingly wide.
Harrison Sawyer had another good chance for Tai Po when he pounced on an error from Helio. But the Australian’s shot from a narrow angle was pushed past the post.
Just as it looked as if the visitors would hold on, Dani Cancela’s shot from distance took a wicked deflection and flew past a helpless Tsang Man Fai in the Tai Po goal in the 86th minute.
But there was more late drama as an excellent through ball from Sartori found substitute Chung Wai Keung, who slotted home from a narrow angle to make it 3-2 to Tai Po with just two minutes remaining.
And in added time, Sawyer muscled his way in from the goal-line and gleefully smashed the ball into the net to put the result beyond doubt.
Tai Po now host Chinese Taipei’s Hang Yuan FC on April 17, while Kitchee travel to DPR Korea to face 4.25 SC.
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