In the two first-round matches last night, the winners were not decided until the dying moments of the game. Godfred Karlkari scored for Fukien in a 1-0 win against Buler Rangers. While Sunray Cave's Xu Guang scored in the stoppage time to beat Nancheng Real Estate by 2-1.
Buler Rangers had defeated Fukien in two occasions this season. But the team is in a form crisis, losing three league games in a row. Although Fukien's Emerson Leite and Leandro De Souza were not available for selection, Rangers failed to create clear-cut chances despite having most of the possession.
Cornelius Udebuluzor had a golden chance in the 27th minute, intercepting Yip Chi-ho's pass. But he put his shot from six yards out straight at 'keeper Leung Tak-chun. HT: 0-0.
It was still Rangers' game at the start of the 2nd half, but Cornelius Udebuluzor, Kwok Wing-sun and Chan Yiu-lun's shots all failed to hit the target.
The game reached a climax towards the end of the game. Fukien's Nono Francis almost headed the ball into his own net. Rangers' Chan Yiu-lun curved a corner towards the goal, but So Loi-keung was there to clear off the line.
As Rangers were all-out attack searching for a killer goal, Godfred Karlkari, who came on as a substitute, received the ball near the halfway line and broke through the spacious Rangers defence with pace. He nicely chipped the ball over 'keeper Goldbert Chi-chiu to make the final score 1-0.
The two teams from mainland keep the half time score at 0-0. But Liang Zicheng scored for Sunray Cave 8 minutes after the start of second half, after Feng Yi stole Shi Wenfeng's ball and passed.
Although Huang Ke equalised for Nancheng in the 65th minute, Sunray Cave was able to get into the next round as Xu Guang scored after a nice build-up play and pass by Liang Zicheng. FT: 2-1.