2022-23 Sapling Cup - HK U23 1:0 RCFC
RCFC came up with the first shot of the game in the opening minutes, as Chau Yui-wang penetrated the HK U23 defense and teed up teammate Jordan Lam with a fine pass. Lam collected the ball on the right flank and pulled the trigger, only to see his shot nicely claimed by HK U23 goalkeeper Ngan Ho-tin.
It was still RCFC afterwards. On the 21st minute, a centering pass from RCFC was headed away by the HK U23 defense. Carles Tena stepped up to the ball outside the HK U23 penalty area and let rip, only to send it well over the crossbar.
RCFC kept searching for the go-ahead goal and nearly came up with it on the 26th minute. Harima Hirokane connected with a teammate’s centering pass and dished out a leaping header towards the HK U23 goal, only to send his header wide off the intended target.
Both sides were firmly locked in a stalemate afterwards and did not generate any obvious scoring chance at all. The first half came to a closure, as HK U23 and RCFC both fired blanks.
RCFC started the second half aggressively and pressed for the opening goal. On the 52nd minute, substitute Felipe Sa unleashed a cracking left footer outside the HK U23 box, only to be stopped by Ngan Ho-tin in goal.
Moments later, the RCFC attacker turned provider, as Sa released Cheng King-ho with a neat forward pass. The RCFC skipper dashed into the HK U23 box and fired away, only to be denied by a sprawling save from goalkeeper Ngan Ho-tin. Sa was in perfect position to drill the rebound home but smashed the ball over the crossbar.
HK U23 came up with a rare scoring chance on the 56th minute, yet Jerry Lam’s strike from inside the RCFC box sailed over the crossbar.
It was back to RCFC’s turn on the 73rd minute. Felipe Sa ignited a dangerous fast break and broke behind the HK U23 defense. Sa made it all the way towards the HK U23 penalty area and fired a sliding shot but could not hit the target with his effort.
HK U23 had a glorious chance to break the game open late in the game. On the 83rd minute, Derek Fung found himself on the receiving end of a teammate’s pass and fired a quick shot from inside the RCFC box, only to be denied by a charging Justin Law in net. The ball somehow fell for Fung once again, who duly unloaded a quick shot while lying on the ground, yet the ball was cleared off the goal-line by RCFC skipper Cheng King-ho in time.
Just when the game looked like it was going to end scoreless, huge drama unfolded, as HK U23’s Chan Yun-tung delivered a low cross towards the middle and set up Tang In-chim nicely. The HK U23 midfielder drove a one-timer home in style, giving his side a 1:0 lead.
Tang’s goal turned out to be the match-winner of the evening, as HK U23 edged RCFC through a spirited 1:0 victory.