Dreams Metro Gallery hosted South China on a fine Sunday afternoon in Sham Shui Po Sports Ground to kick-off the day’s BOCG Life Hong Kong Premier League action. A Ryan Griffiths goal proved to be the difference between the two sides, as South China narrowly edged out Dreams Metro Gallery through a 1:0 score.
The home side generated the first scoring chance of the game on the 6th minute, when Pablo Gallardo connected with a teammate’s corner-kick and headed the ball back towards the South China goal-mouth. Lau Hok-ming dished out an ambitious bicycle-kick but fired the ball high.
South China broke the game open through a dead-ball situation. On the 14th minute, youngster Law Hiu-chung’s corner-kick from the right-side was met by a towering header from Ryan Griffiths. The Australian’s header sailed into the net from the back-post, putting the visitors in front.
Dreams Metro Gallery had a half decent chance on the 25th minute, when Leonidas Soares saw his curling free-kick from the right-side sailed wide off the intended target. The home side was still one goal behind at this point.
The home side tried hard for the equalizer and came close again on the 42nd minute, when Tse Long-hin’s cross from the right flank was headed just high by teammate Kenji Fukuda.
Right before the first half whistle, South China should have gone up by two goals, as Awal Mahama showed off blazing speed on the right wing and delivered the ball to the Dreams Metro Gallery box. An unmarked Ryan Griffiths dashed into the penalty area and one-timed his shot, only to blast the ball high from the goal-mouth. It was quite a miss by the Australian forward.
Dreams Metro Gallery came close to tying the game on the 49th minute. This time, Leonidas Soares sent teammate Li Ka-chun through with a fine forward pass. The latter darted into the South China box from the left side and fired a quick shot that was smartly denied by keeper Tsang Man-fai.
The home side continued to lay pressure towards the South China goal. On the 57th minute, Wong Tsz-ho shook off his marker on the left side and pushed forward with the ball. The Dreams Metro Gallery player then drilled a low drive that beat South China keeper Tsang Man-fai but unfortunately not the goal-post.
South China nearly doubled its lead on the 67th minute, when Sean Tse’s long throw-in from the right side created havoc inside the Dreams Metro Gallery box. Law hiu-chung pounced on the loose ball but saw his shot nicely claimed by keeper Li Yat-chun.
Dreams Metro Gallery went one man short on the 76th minute, as Pablo Gallardo picked up his second yellow card of the game, thus leading to his marching order.
South China tried to seek the insurance goal and had a decent chance to do just that. On the 87th minute, Carlos Vieira’s shot from the left side went marginally wide off the Dreams Metro Gallery goal-post.
The score stood towards the final whistle, as South China took all points from Dreams Metro Gallery, after narrowly beating the home side through a 1:0 score line.