Following up from their assault on Sun Hei in the Silver Shield Final earlier this season, Happy Valley comfortably overcame Kitchee in the FA Cup Final yesterday with a 3-1 victory and claimed their second honour in the current campaign. Happy Valley skipper Lee Wai Man was awarded the competition's best defensive player honour for his steady and commanding performances at the back-end while teammates, Gerard Ambassa Guy, Martin Jancula and Cheung Sai Ho all shared the top scorer honour with Sun Hei's "Yin-Yan" frontmen, Marcio and Julius Pongla Akosah.Kitchee players will certainly be disappointed by their performances on the day and their incapability to reporduce the strong showing that saw them eliminating Sun Hei in the Semi Final earlier. Goalkeeper Xiao Guoji's two errors in the game were certainly costly and his first blunder on the 24th minute in the first half actually led to Happy Valley's first goal of the game when Barnes Colly Ezeh delivered a teasing cross into the Kitchee penalty area and found Xiao punching the air, instead of the ball, for a clearance. After a few awkward bounces in the box, the ball ended up on the feet of Ambassa Guy and the Cameroon player easily slipped the ball into the Kitchee goal.
Happy Valley's dominating performance continued after the goal and soon pulled away on the 23rd minute. Defender Lee Wai Tik supplied a pin-point cross from the right flank and found Jancula in the far post. The Slovak hitman calmly headed the ball into the net and produced a two-goal lead for Happy Valley. Only the post prevented Cheung Sai Ho's powerful shot from turning into a three-goal lead for Happy Valley shortly before half-time.
After the interval, Kitchee made several lineup changes that saw Chan Siu Ki and Chan Chi Kwong coming into the game. The substitutions provided immediate results and saw Lau Quankun's 53rd mintue strike from just inside the penalty box cutting Happy Valley's lead into one. However, the scoreline lasted merely a mintue before Happy Valley pulled away again. This time, Ambassa Guy chested down a corner and delivered his second goal of the game with a powerful shot past Xiao.
Kitchee's fate seemed to be sealed when goal scorer Lau recieved the marching order after his second yellow card of the game on the 64th minute. Unfortunately, Happy Valley couldn't utilize the man advantage and the 3-1 scored line was maintained through the end of the game.
After the game, the Happy Valley players all shared the $150,000 prize money while Club Chairman, Mr. Kung Wing Yee, offered an additional $100,000 to the troops in the hope of bringing home the league title at the end of the season.
Happy Valley's line-up:
Goalkeeper: Fan Chun Yip
Defenders: Lee Wai Tik, Barnes Colly Ezeh, Lee Wai Man, Poon Yiu Cheuk (71' Li Chun Yip)
Midfielders: Kwok Yue Hung (59' Shum Kwok Keung), Cheung Sai Ho, Gerard Ambassa Guy, Martin Jancula
Forwards: Batoum Roger Urbain, Lawrence Chimezi Akandu (57' Lai Kai Cheuk)
Goalkeeper: Xiao Guoji
Defenders: Fung Ka Ki, Feng Zhiji, Liu Quankun, Lam Hing Lun (66' Cheung Kin Fung)
Midfielders: David Williamson (45' Chan Chi Kwong), Dan Ito, Wilfred Bamnjo, Mihailo Jovanovic, Lam Ka Wai
Forward: Rochi Putiray