The FA Cup quarter-finals will kick-off this weekend with premier league teams lining up for the chance to compete for one of the most prestigious trophy in domestic football. The first quarter-final battle this weekend will see Eastern and Yuen Long locking horns in Mongkok Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The match will go underway at 2:30pm.
Eastern will be taking on Yuen Long for the second time in two weeks. The premier league leader defeated the New territories side 3:0 recently in the premier league and will be licking its chops for the FA Cup quarter-final matchup against the very same opponent. The Blues have great ambitions for the current season and no doubt will relish the opportunity to add another trophy to go alongside the Senior Shield.
With its premier league status still hanging by a tread, it is unsure how much priority will Yuen Long place in the FA Cup quarter-final. However, the New Territories side did manage to knock out fellow premier league team Glory Sky Wong Tai Sin in round one of the tournament and the threat that it possesses cannot be denied. The addition of Stefan Pereira and Aleksandar Randelovic in the new year have bolstered the district team and it remains to be seen whether Yuen Long can serve up an earth-shattering upset while facing Eastern on Saturday.
Dreams Metro Gallery and BC Rangers are due to meet up in Tsing Yi Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon at 5:30pm for the second FA Cup quarter-final of the day.
Dreams Metro Gallery has been a breath of fresh air in the premier league circuit this season and has performed way above people’s expectations. While the midseason losses of Clayton Afonso and Chu Siu-kei have been tough to overcome, youngsters such as Lau Hok-ming and Siu Chun-ming have seen their playing time increased and responded in brilliant fashion, which makes Dreams Metro Gallery still largely a dangerous side.
BC Rangers, despite its lowly premier league standing, has done very well in cup tournaments this season. The young squad bucked the odds and fought its way to the semi-final stage in both the League Cup and Sapling Cup, making the side a force that should not be estimated. At the same time, Spanish striker Ernesto Gomez has been in fine form recently with two goals in BC Rangers’ previous game, making him the player to watch out for this Saturday afternoon.
Heavyweights South China and Hong Kong Pegasus will square off on Sunday afternoon in Mongkok Stadium for arguably the most eagerly anticipated FA Cup quarter-final of the weekend. The match will go underway at 2:30pm.
South China head coach Ricardo Rambo indicates confidence is back within the squad and the side is ready to fight against Hong Kong Pegasus. “We finally broke the duck in the AFC Cup and the players have regained their confidence once again,” Rambo observed. “Hong Kong Pegasus has a few players who are really good with possession and their play on the flanks are very dangerous. If we can minimize their attack from the two sides, then I think we will stand a very good chance of coming out on top.”
Newly-appointed Hong Kong Pegasus team manager Kevin Bond hopes his side can improve on its play during the remainder of the season. “I hope we can play in a more progressive manner and that is why I will sit down with the team’s other coaches, listen to what they have to say and come up with a plan together,” said Bond. “For the time being, we will prepare the players the best that we can and enable them to play the best that they can in every single game.”
Rounding out the FA Cup quarter-finals will be a clash between Kitchee and Kwoon Chung Southern. The match will take place in Tsing Yi Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon at 5:30pm.
The ever so busy Kitchee will be facing Kwoon Chung Southern for the sixth time this season, after coming off an impressive away victory against Maldives side New Radiant SC in the AFC Cup midweek. While fatigue from the Kitchee players might be a legitimate concern, the defending FA Cup champion should have enough depth in the squad to handle the challenge. On top of that, the Blues are currently riding on a four game winning streak and is peaking at the right time heading into the FA Cup.
Kwoon Chung Southern has presented Kitchee with quite a lot of trouble this season. Despite losing twice to Kitchee, the Hong Kong Island-side has successfully held Kitchee to draws on two separate occasions, while upsetting the Blues once, demonstrating the capability of Kwoon Chung Southern. Make no mistake about it, Kwoon Chung Southern will be ready to throw everything that it has against Kitchee this weekend and an upset might not be that far-fetched.