Hong Kong Pegasus, Lee Man, Happy Valley and R&F due for midweek Sapling Cup action
Sapling Cup group-stage fixtures continue to dominate local football circuit, as Hong Kong Pegasus is set to take on Lee Man in Jockey Club HKFA Football Training Centre Pitch No. 3 on Tuesday afternoon. The Group A fixture will kick-off at 1:00pm and will be played behind closed doors.
With twelve points from five Sapling Cup group matches so far this season, Hong Kong Pegasus still has a realistic chance to make it to the top of Group A and reach the cup-final. However, the team will need to pick up as many points as possible in its remaining three Sapling Cup group fixtures, making Tuesday’s clash against Lee Man practically a must-win affair. Confidence in the Hong Kong Pegasus camp should be soaring high though, as the side has already beaten Lee Man once in the Sapling Cup this season. Adding to the fact that Hong Kong Pegasus is fresh off a 9:3 trashing against fellow Group A side BC Rangers, it sure looks like the industrious team is poised for a solid showing come match-time.
At the time of writing, Lee Man only has four points from six Sapling Cup group fixtures and has no chance of the making it to the Sapling Cup final. The young team is merely playing out the string of its Sapling Cup matches but that should not stop Lee Man from going for a victory on Tuesday afternoon. While young guns such as Yu Wai-lim and Leo Chow might have performed fairly well for Lee Man in the competition, yet there is a real sense of urgency for the Lee Man backline to step up its game, as the side has allowed an alarming seven goals in its past two Sapling Cup matches. If Lee Man can rediscover the form that led the team to a season-opening 4:2 victory against Hong Kong Pegasus, then the young side might stand a chance of coming out on top on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday, Happy Valley will meet up with R&F in Jockey Club HKFA Football Training Centre Pitch No. 3 for a Sapling Cup Group B tilt. The match will go underway at 1:00pm and will be played behind closed doors.
Happy Valley only has seven points from eight Sapling Cup group-stage outings and does not have any chance of qualifying for the Sapling Cup final from a mathematical standpoint. While the ever-improving Happy Valley players have shone brightly in the past two Sapling Cup fixtures by producing a total of seven goals, the side also allowed eight goals from those two matches. To make matters worse, Happy Valley had gone in front on the scoreboard in both games but somehow failed to nurse both leads towards the final whistle, which shows that the young side still has a lot to learn. On the bright-side, the likes of Manu Ganvilan, Wong Chi-hong and Poon Pui-hin have all done exceptionally well in recent games and should be able to keep Happy Valley in the hunt for three points on Wednesday.
R&F will be making its first appearance in domestic football on Wednesday afternoon after a month-long hiatus. With only seven points from five Sapling Cup group fixtures so far this season, R&F still maintains an outside chance of reaching the top of Group B and snatching a ticket for the Sapling Cup final. However, the team must pick up maximum points from its remaining three Sapling Cup group fixtures, thus making Wednesday’s game against Happy Valley a must-win battle. With astute performers such as Serge Deble, Thiago De Leonco, Igor Sartori, Giovane Da Silva, Lam Zhi Gin, Matthew Lam, Sean Tse and Leung Nok-hang, R&F sure looks vastly superior than young Happy Valley from a personnel standpoint, yet the mainland side must remain cautious on match-day, as R&F was handed a shocking 0:1 defeat by Happy Valley earlier in the Sapling Cup group-stage.