Happy Valley meets Sun Hei in the League Cup Final

2003-01-24




Defending Champions and 1st runners-up South China and Buler Rangers were both defeated in the semi-final of the League Cup. Happy Valley will meet Sun Hei in the final on Sunday at the Hong Kong Stadium. 

Sun Hei, who defeated Rangers in the league match by 3-0 last week, showed that they're the stronger side by a promising 4-2 win. Sun Hei's Cornelius Udebuluzor grabbed 2 early goals in the first half which shocked the Rangers defence. Rangers re-built the defence to avoid conceding another goal. However, Sun Hei was still dominating the game. In the 32th minute, Sun Hei's Jose Ricardo Rambo lobbed the ball pass Rangers 'keeper Goldbert Chi-chiu from a Chu Siu-kei cross. With the 3-goal margin, Sun Hei still tried to attack in the 2nd half. Law Chun-pong scored in the 48th minute making the score 4-0. Buler Rangers did well to hit back, but too late. Anilton Da Conceicao headed home a corner in the 68th minute, and Julius Akosah scoring from a Kim Pan-gon pass. With the Sun Hei defence under pressure, Antonic Dejan's late tackle on Julius Akosah earned himself a red card. Rangers failed to score with this one-man advantage and the match ended 4-2. 

Defending Champions South China failed to get into the final after a defeat by archrivals Happy Valley, and even worse, their influential winger Lee Kin-wo was injured in the 12th minute, their attacking power was greatly reduced. The Caroliners did have more chances in the 1st half. Rochi Putiray missed the target in close range in the 14th minute. And Yau Kin-wai's volley also missed the target closely. Happy Valley scored from counter-attack in the 28th minute. Lee Wai-man's long pass to the right was well met by Kwok Yue-Hung. He found Gerard Ambassa at the far post who put the ball home from an acute angle, 1-0. South China had another chance to equalise in the 1st half. 3 defenders failed to steal Szeto Man-chun's ball in their own box. Szeto passed the ball back to the unmarked Au Wai-lun, but he missed the target again surprisingly. South China continued to attack in the 2nd half. Rochi Putiray's cross saw Au Wai-lun's diving header evaded the goalkeeper and into the net, 1-1. Both teams failed to create clear-cut chances after that, which looks as if extra-time was needed. But it wasn't the case. Cristiano Cordeiro held Lo Kai-wah in the box in the 83rd minute resulting in a penalty kick. Leung Shing-kit made no mistake from the spot, 2-1. Barnes Ezeh's overhead kick found Keith Gumbs in the 87th minute who volleyed home without hesitation. The full time score 3-1 to Happy Valley. By Levin
Wong