Nike Lunar New Year Cup 2017 - Kitchee 0:1 Auckland City FC (NZL)
Kitchee and Auckland City FC locked horns on late Tuesday afternoon in Hong Kong Stadium, competing for the NIKE Lunar New Year Cup. Auckland City FC, a late-addition to this year's tournament, went on to defeat Kitchee 1:0 through some very impressive display on the pitch and took home the coveted trophy.
Kitchee fired the first warning shot of the game on the 7th minute, when Joao Emir took aim from outside the Auckland City FC box and launched a spectacular free-kick that hit the crossbar and stayed out of the net. It was a great strike by the Brazilian midfielder.
The home side generated another chance on the 10th minute, when Fernando Pedreira led a counter-attack down the left side, then cut inside with the ball before picking out Lam Ka-wai with a fine pass. Lam belted a left-foot curler towards goal but was easily stopped by Enaut Zubikarai in the Auckland City FC net.
Auckland City FC fired its first shot of the game on the 20th minute. Emiliano Tade unleashed a sweet curler from a free-kick but saw his effort drifted wide off the Kitchee net. The game remained scoreless at this point.
The visitors opened the score on the 22nd minute, when Emiliano Tade nicely chested down a teammate's pass, motored into the box, dodged a tackle before drilling a shot that was on its way out of play. Clayton Lewis added a decisive touch at the far post and directed the ball home. Auckland City FC was now up with a one-goal lead.
Auckland City FC almost established a two-goal lead on the 41st minute. This time, Cameron Howieson sprung teammate Clayton Lewis loose with a delicate pass. Lewis dashed forward for the loose ball but sadly poked it just wide off the Kitchee goal.
Moments later, Kitchee came up with a half-decent chance, when Alessandro Leonardo received the ball near the top of the box, then spun and fired but could not get past Auckland City FC keeper Enaut Zubikarai. Kitchee was still chasing the game at this point.
Auckland City FC nearly expanded its lead on the 47th minute, when Joao Moreira chased down a long pass on the right side, then cut towards the middle before drilling a low shot that was nicely smothered by Kitchee keeper Guo Jianqiao.
Kitchee missed a glorious chance to tie the game on the 56th minute. Lo Kwan-yee swung the ball towards the Auckland City FC box. Rufino Segovia misfired inside the penalty area, Daniel Cancela volleyed the ball but sadly blasted it off-target.
The home side came close again on the 70th minute, when Joao Emir's soft header found Daniel Cancela deep inside the Auckland City FC box. The Spanish defender unleashed a one-timer towards the Auckland City FC net but fired the ball wide. Kitchee was still trailing by a goal at this stage.
Kitchee nearly equalized on the 75th minute, when Krisztian Vadocz played a smart one-two with Emmet Wan before smashing a volley that went just wide off the Auckland City net. It was a great chance by the Kitchee midfielder.
Auckland City FC generated a rare chance in the second-half on the 82nd minute. Joao Moreira did a thirty-sixty and shook off his markers inside the Kitchee box, before drilling a tight-angle shot that sailed wide across the Kitchee net.
The 1:0 score stood towards the final whistle, as Auckland City FC narrowly defeated Kitchee in the NIKE Lunar New Year Cup final and laid claim on the new year trophy.