2019-20 Sapling Cup Final - Kitchee 3:1 Kwoon Chung Southern
Kitchee and Kwoon Chung Southern faced off in Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground on Sunday afternoon for this season’s Sapling Cup final. Goals from Matthew Orr, Wellingsson De Souza and Barak Braunshtain helped Kitchee beat Kwoon Chung Southern 3:1, as the Shek Mun-based side went on to claim the Sapling Cup trophy.
Kitchee enjoyed better ball-possession early in the game, tested Kwoon Chung Southern with several shots but with no prevail. On the 15th minute, Kitchee came up with a half-decent scoring chance through a counter-attack, as Matthew Orr had the ball in control down the left wing but smashed his shot wide off the Kwoon Chung Southern goal.
The game went into a stalemate afterwards and the next scoring chance did not occur until the half-hour mark. On the 30th minute, Kitchee’s Barak Braunshtain delivered an in-swinging corner-kick into the Kwoon Chung Southern box. Chan Shinichi dashed to the ball but could not find the back of the net with his header.
A few minutes later, it was Kitchee once again. Matthew Orr found daylight through a crowd of Kwoon Chung Southern players inside the box and pulled the trigger. Kwoon Chung Southern goalkeeper Choy Tsz-to tracked the ball well and easily handled Orr’s shot.
Kitchee was handed a great chance to break the game open on the 35th minute, as Chan Shinichi was brought down inside the Kwoon Chung Southern box by Christopher Chung. The referee quickly pointed to the penalty-spot and awarded Kitchee with a spot-kick. Matthew Orr took the penalty-shot for Kitchee and drilled the ball home. Kitchee was up by 1:0.
Kitchee nearly doubled its lead on the 39th minute, as Barak Braunshtain’s centering pass hit the Kwoon Chung Southern crossbar and stayed out of the net. Moments later, Kitchee defender Park Junheong unleashed a tight-angle shot from inside the Kwoon Chung Southern box but could not get past goalkeeper Choy Tsz-to.
Kwoon Chung Southern managed to equalize late in the first half. On the 44th minute, Roberto Fronza connected with Paco Chan’s free-kick and sent a bouncing header towards the Kitchee goal. Fronza’s header beat Kitchee goalkeeper Guo Jianqiao and went into the net. The game was now tied at 1:1.
Kitchee almost regained its lead early in the second half. On the 57th minute, Chan Shinichi whipped a teasing cross towards the Kwoon Chung Southern goal-mouth. Matthew Orr took up great position at the back-post, applied a nifty header but saw the ball rung off the goal-post and went out of play.
Kitchee made it 2:1 on the 65th minute, as Chan Shinichi’s close-range shot was paved away by Kwoon Chung Southern goalkeeper Choy Tsz-to. Wellingsson De Souza gained control of the ball in the Kwoon Chung Southern doorstep and tucked it home quickly, putting Kitchee in front once again.
Kitchee hit Kwoon Chung Southern with yet another goal on the 75th minute. Midfielder Barak Braunshtain unleashed a scrumptious curling free-kick from the edge of the Kwoon Chung Southern box. Braunshtain’s shot beat goalkeeper Choy Tsz-to and went into the net. The score was now 3:1 with Kitchee well in front.
Kwoon Chung Southern almost answered back immediately, as veteran Zeshan Rehman’s low shot from inside the Kitchee box was nicely pushed aside by goalkeeper Guo Jianqiao.
Late in the game, Kitchee’s Wellingsson De Souza broke loose down the right wing before ripping a powerful shot towards the Kwoon Chung Southern net, only to be denied by a great save from goalkeeper Choy Tsz-to.
Both sides failed to add to the score in the remaining regulation time, as Kitchee went on to beat Kwoon Chung Southern 3:1, winning this season’s Sapling Cup in the process.