Monday 15 April 2024

Kitchee bounce back with comprehensive victory over North District.

Credits to Tony
Kitchee looked to bounce back from the 0-0 draw with Eastern, and get their title ambitions back on track. First up was North District at home on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Kitchee had Fernando, Paulo and Mingazow still out injured, and made five changes from the derby day draw. Shinichi and Roberto replaced Ramic and Russell in defence, Tan Chun-lok replaced Scott in midfield, and Janstcher and Juninho came in for Poon Pui-hin and Mikael, as Kitchee switched to a 4-2-3-1. 

Lineup: Wang Zhenpeng, TC Law, Roberto, Helio (c), Shinichi; Tan Chun-lok (Cheng Chin-lung 82), Cleiton (Scott 82); Juninho, Jantscher (Mikael 56), Igor (Poon Pui-hin 73); Temirov.

Match details

Credits to Scoop
Kitchee had the best of the early exchanges, with Roberto heading onto the crossbar from Igor Sartori's corner. Jakob Jantscher opened the scoring after eighteen minutes. After being teed up by Juninho, the Austrian, playing in a number 10 role saw his shot blocked, before he struck home the rebound, for his first league goal since September. Kendy almost equalised direct from a corner, before Cleiton's ball across the face of the goal was somehow not turned in by either Temirov or Igor Sartori. In first half stoppage time Temirov's work rate allowed him to beat Carles Tena to the ball, and the Uzbek forward teed up Juninho. After miskicking the first effort the forward recovered to double Kitchee's advantage, and responded by shushing critical fans in the process.

Credits to Scoop
Temirov hit the bar with a header from an Igor Sartori cross, before a great save from Wang Zhenpeng kept Kitchee's clean sheet intact. After initially being disallowed for offside, Mikael's header from Cleiton's freekick was given, extending Kitchee's lead with twenty minutes to go. Wang Zhenpeng continued to impress, before good work from Cheng Chin-lung set up Juninho for a tap in as the game came to a close. Poon Pui-hin thought he had added a fifth in stoppage time, but was ruled offside. Four goals and a clean sheet, and while not perfect, after the disjointed attack last week.

Fan feedback


The slight change of system brought about a better performance from Jantscher, but without a proper striker (birthday boy Kim Shin-wook nowhere to be seen again) it is futile, as none of Kitchee's attacking options are comfortable playing through the middle. Some fans argue that switching to a false nine system with more attacking fluidity may suit Kitchee's squad better, but it would be very late in the season to make such a tactical switch. As fans it is hard to tell what tactics the side have been sent out to implement; Jantscher's positional switch meant that Kitchee were quicker on the ball, but the defence was more exposed. Kitchee missed a number of good chances that would have made victory even more comfortable, especially Temirov. The Uzbek forward is a workhouse and his perseverance set up Kitchee's second goal for Juninho, who shushed fans who criticised him for messing up the first shot, appearing too over confident. Kitchee got an early goal which helped in keeping Northern out of the game, something which they have struggled with in recent weeks. After two tight Sapling Cup games and allowing Northern back into the game in the reverse fixture, the 4-0 win was a welcome change. Igor still looks short of confidence, but owing to injuries and fitness concerns with other forwards he is playing almost every game. Juninho being given the ball by the midfield allowed Law to make runs down the right hand side and provide crosses. But Kitchee will struggle against Eastern, Lee Man and potentially Southern as well this season if they cannot figure out how to make the attack flow better.

Credits to Scoop
North District had chances, exposing our slow centre backs on occasion, and really should have scored. Wang Zhenpeng proved immense in keeping Kitchee's clean sheet intact, helped by some lacklustre finishing. With Paulo only featuring twice since November, the experienced stopper continued his run in the starting lineup. Cleiton will miss the next two games, including the crucial top of the table clash with Tai Po, after another booking brings him to ten in domestic competitions. Shinichi Chan was good down the left hand side, linking well with our forwards. The heat will play a huge factor in upcoming games, with many of Kitchee's remaining fixtures scheduled for 3pm kick offs. Charlie Scott was on the bench today, possibly due to the heat and the assumption that other players function better in the warmer climate. Tan Chun-lok got a start and had mixed fan reviews about whether he can be the holding midfielder moving forward. With Cleiton's upcoming suspension, Lok will likely start in the crucial match against Tai Po this weekend.

What's next

Credits to Scoop
Five games of the league season to go, starting with the tricky trip to Tai Po on Saturday at 3pm. Kitchee have not won there in the league since 2018. A big test of character ahead if we are to retain our title from last season.

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Written by Adam O'Domhnaill


Monday 8 April 2024

Semi final drama and derby day disappointment

Written by Adam O'Domhnaill

Kitchee 4-3 Tai Po (Sapling Cup semi final)

Credits to Scoop
Kitchee started April with the Sapling Cup semi final against Tai Po. Goals from Cheng Chin-lung, Mikael, Juninho and a stoppage time winner from Tan Chun-lok secured victory. Some Kitchee fans (including myself) did not attend, as the Sapling Cup continues to prove to be pointless in its stated aim of youth development. Kitchee played two aging centre backs (Roberto 40, and Russell 36), and when a change in defence was made at half time, Russell was replaced by the 38 year old Helio, leaving 20 year old Jason Kam on the bench. Young players will not improve if they do not get minutes. Both Kitchee and Tai Po started the bare minimum of U22 players required, and with the exception of the stoppage time introduction of Kitchee youngster Yuen Chun-him, none of the ten U22 players across both benches were brought on.

Lineup: Shek; Kurban, Roberto (c), Russell (Helio 46), Shinichi (Yuen Chun-him 90); Tan Chun-lok, Mikael (Ramic 66), Cheng Chin-lung (Scott 74); Jantscher, Juninho (Temirov 74), Slattery

Kitchee 0-0 Eastern

Now for derby day. Over 1800 fans were in attendance as Eastern sought to break Kitchee's three year unbeaten run in this fixture. Poon Pui-hin and Sedin Ramic came in for Jantscher and Shinichi, with Fernando, Mingazow and Paulo all still out injured. 

Lineup: Wang; TC Law, Helio (c), Russell, Ramic (Shinichi 63); Scott, Cleiton (Tan Chun-lok (90), Mikael; Poon Pui-hin (Juninho 76), Temirov, Igor.

Credits to Tony
Both sides struggled to create chances early on, and in a very physical encounter Helio was lucky not to be sent off in the first half; first being booked for a lunging tackle, and escaping a second yellow for hauling Baffoe to the ground. Law was also booked for a rash challenge, before Baffoe missed the best chance of the half, his header narrowly missing the Kitchee goal as Wang Zhenpeng came off his line to try and catch a freekick.

Into the second half, as both sides sought to seize the initiative. Cleiton's driving run down the right was cleared by Eastern right back Callum Hall, who had Poon Pui-hin waiting to pounce in the six yard box. Charlie Scott had a sighter from range that Yapp easily dealt with in the Eastern goal. Baffoe got the better of Andy Russell to tee up Anson Wong, but an outstanding block from Helio kept Kitchee level. Kitchee somehow remained level as they failed to deal with a Marcos Gondra long shot, and Bosley Yu skied the rebound from six yards out with the goal gaping. Kitchee will be disappointed with the draw, showing limited attacking threat, but kept the clean sheet intact. Chances for both sides in a game that occasionally was very scrappy. Still only a point behind Lee Man, but tough away trips to Tai Po, Eastern and Southern are still to come, and Lee Man at home on the final day. It will take a big shift to defend the title.

Fan feedback

Credits to Tony
A scrappy affair, with Kitchee creating limited attacking threat. It was unclear what the tactical plan was, with very little creativity in the final third, and a lot of long balls in the opening exchanges, despite Kitchee losing a lot of aerial challenges and the resulting second balls. The pace of Noah Baffoe caused Kitchee trouble again, and neither of Kitchee's fullbacks offered much overlap, possibly fearing Baffoe exposing the lack of pace of Helio and Russell at the back. Poon Pui-hin barely got the ball, even after switching into centre forward. Fans wonder do the Brazilians in midfield trust him on the ball. Playing Ramic in defence means Kitchee have to play a local player in midfield or attack, but despite Tan Chun-lok and Juninho impressing in midweek, Poon was chosen. His crossing was subpar when playing out wide, and he is not good enough to start in big games. Temirov works hard at times, but cannot create chances for himself, and there was very little service. 

There were too many wayward passes, and often Kitchee looked to go backwards, despite Helio, Russell and Wang all at risk of being exposed by Baffoe. Simple passes went awry, and this lead to many breakups in our attacking play, where a more clinical opponent would've scored against us, given our defence's lack of pace and ability on the ball. Mikael, Cleiton and Igor showed heart but none had the decisive edge that would have helped us win, despite Cleiton improving in the second half. Most of Kitchee's shots on targets were soft enough for Yapp to gather easily in the Eastern goal.

Credits to Erikson
Refereeing was inconsistent today, with Kitchee being given five yellow cards to Eastern's two, despite a number of fouls from Eastern. Saying that, Helio especially, and potentially Law as well were lucky to stay on the pitch, but Eastern had some questionable tackles and challenges which saw nothing given Kitchee's way, including Temirov being body slammed to the ground twice and Ramic being harshly booked for diving in the Eastern box- it was not a penalty but it was not a dive. VAR is still in its infancy in Hong Kong and needs serious review. Ramic handballed an Eastern cross, but fans, officials and VAR did not notice the incident until Sports Road posted a photo. The incident (and perceived bias in recent months) has led Eastern players, and the club itself, to criticise officiating on social media.

Kitchee's bench options were extremely limited, with Juninho the only senior attacker. Injuries are a part of football, but Kitchee are looking stretched at times, and none of Kitchee's young players are trusted in the league. Shinichi aside, the only league minutes for a player under 22 for Kitchee is Tuscany's 90 minutes in goal against HKU23. We are not saying that we should sub on inexperienced teenagers into derby day. But if they had been given some league football throughout the season, even if it was just second half cameos, it may give the coaching staff the confidence to use them towards the back end of the season, when it is clear players are tired and sometimes the chosen tactics are not working.

Credits to Erikson

What's next for Kitchee?

The business end of the season is upon us. Kitchee take on North District on Sunday 14th, 3pm at MK, before successive away days at Tai Po (20th) and HKU23 (28th). Six hugely important league games left.

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Sunday 31 March 2024

2 more league wins, cup progress and international duty- March roundup.

Juninho- credits Scoop
Written by Adam O'Domhnaill

Following the HKFC double header, Kitchee had two league games either side of the final group game in the Sapling Cup, as Kitchee extended their winning run to nine games. There were also two Hong Kong games against Uzbekistan, and the unfortunate news of Ruslan Mingazow's injury training with Turkmenistan potentially ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Credits to Nick
Kitchee travelled the short distance to Sham Shui Po on the 17th, buoyed by Lee Man dropping points away at Eastern the night before. Fernando, Jantscher and Paulo were still injured, but there was a first Kitchee start since December for Shinichi Chan, and Andy Russell returned from suspension. A brace from Mingazow either side of half time put the game beyond doubt, before Mikael's penalty made it three; the Brazilian's tenth league goal of the season. Cheng Chin-lung cleared a header off the line in the closing stages, but Kitchee held firm for a 3-0 win. The only setback was Law Tsz-chun suffering an eye injury in the first half, which later ruled him out of international duty.

Credits to Nick
Kitchee were deprived of a number of senior players through injury and international callups for the final Sapling Cup group game. Shinichi Chan captained, having not been deemed fit enough for Hong Kong duty, and goals from Temirov, Cleiton and Igor saw Kitchee win 3-1. We now take on Tai Po on the 3rd April.

Poon- credits Scoop
Either side of the Sapling Cup semi final, Hong Kong played Uzbekistan twice in the World Cup Qualifiers. Helio, Tan Chun-lok and Juninho started the 2-0 home defeat, with Poon Pui-hin coming on in the second half. Helio missed the second game, but Kitchee's other three representatives started as Hong Kong lost 3-0 away, being eliminated from qualifying contention. Ruslan Mingazow sustained a bad leg injury training with Turkmenistan, and will miss most of the rest of the season. A blow for Mingazow, who in recent weeks scored the winner in the Senior Shield final, and was showing signs of last seasons form with three goals in his last two games.

Easter weekend saw us travel away to Tsing Yi for a Saturday evening game against RCFC. We were without Fernando, Mingazow and Paulo, but there was a return to the starting line-up for Jakob Jantscher, his first game for six weeks. Helio was making his 200th appearance for the club. Temirov headed in Law's cross early on, before Cleiton doubled the scoring after linking up with Igor Sartori. Andy Russell tapped in at a corner to make it 3-0 after 21 minutes.
RCFC pulled one back, Lee Yoon-gwon latching onto a long ball forward and scoring with a good first time finish. Temirov could've extended Kitchee's lead before half time, and both sides had chances to score as the second half went on. Kitchee sealed their ninth win in a row in the closing stages, as Charlie Scott's long range effort hit the post and then RCFC's goalkeeper 
before going in, and Kitchee secured their ninth win in a row.

April is a busy month for us, with five games. We start with a Sapling Cup semi-final against Tai Po on the 3rd (8pm), before derby day against Eastern on the 6th (6pm), who will be looking for revenge after the Senior Shield final. We round off the month with a home game against Northern District (14th) and then away games against Tai Po (20th) and HKU23 (28th). 

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Monday 11 March 2024

Different competitions, different stadiums, same outcome- HKFC double header

Temirov- photo by Scoop
Kitchee kicked off March with a 3-1 win away at Hong Kong Football Club. Fernando and Shinichi Chan continued to be out with injury, and there was a rare start in goal for Wang Zhenpeng in the absence of Paulo. Mikael opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a lengthy VAR check. HKFC hit back straight away, Dominic Johns breaking free down the right and crossing for Leo to level the scores. Kitchee continued to struggle with Johns' pace, and HKFC had a great chance to take a shock lead. On the verge of half time, Charlie Scott's long ball forward was met by the head of Mingazow on the run, to give Kitchee the lead. Kitchee extended their lead halfway through the half, with Juninho finishing off a lovely team move down the right. 3-1 win, with better performances needed as the season goes on.

Mingazow- photo by Scoop
After a six day turnaround, we took on the same opponents, this time in the FA Cup at Mong Kok Stadium. Fernando remained out, with Jantscher and Paulo joining him on the injury list, and Russell was suspended. Kitchee took the lead early on, with Roberto heading in from a corner for his first goal in over a year. Kitchee were dominant in the early exchanges, but HKFC created a couple of decent chances as the half went on. The second half saw Kitchee continue to dominate, but the second goal did not arrive until the last ten minutes, with an acrobatic effort from Temirov making the game safe. Shinichi Chan had a fifteen minute cameo off the bench, after nearly two months out with a hamstring strain. Not the greatest performance, but it got the job done and sets up a semi-final clash with Eastern.

Mingazow- photo by Scoop
Kitchee had seven players called up to Jorn Andersen's preliminary Hong Kong squad for the double header qualifiers against Uzbekistan. Paulo Cesar returned to the squad after missing the Asian Cup, but he has missed Kitchee's last three games through injury. Tan Chun-lok, Helio, Law Tsz-chun, Shinichi Chan, Poon Pui-hin and Juninho will all be hoping to make the final squad, and help Hong Kong attempt to qualify for the 2026 World Cup. The home game takes place on March 21st, at Mong Kok, and is already sold out.

Russell- photo by Scoop
Next up for Kitchee we are away at Sham Shui Po on the 17th (3pm), before facing Lee Man in the Sapling Cup during the international break (24th March, 3pm). A win against Lee Man takes us through as group winners, with any other result seeing us eliminated. We round off the month with an league game away to RCFC in Tsing Yi on the 30th March (6pm).

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Thanks to the fans who helped contribute to this article

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Thursday 29 February 2024

Kitchee SC 2023-24 Half Term Report

Helio- credits to Scoop
Kitchee have now played half of their league games this season, returning with two wins after the layoff from the Asian Cup. Kitchee find themselves in 2nd place, with Lee Man out in front, the men from TKO having taken the early advantage defeating us 4-1 in September. Since then, we have only dropped two points in the league, coming in a lacklustre 0-0 draw at home to Southern, with VAR controversially saving us. We lifted the Premier League Cup and the Senior Shield, but our ACL campaign was a massive disappointment. Our Sapling Cup campaign has been a mixed bag- playing the majority of games during the international breaks has meant much more reliance on younger players, teenager Yuen Chun-him with two goals and three assists so far being the pick of the bunch. Here we assess Kitchee's season so far, looking at our recruitment and our performances.

Recruitment

Temirov- credits to Scoop
Onazi and Damcevski's limited action in Kitchee shirts was diabolical. The only highlight was Onazi's new employer announcing his transfer prematurely, leading to the player arguing with fans online about his commitment, fuelled by middle man Anthony Lam. Jakob Jantscher and Juninho were recruited to replace the goals of Dejan Damjanovic, but they have had inconsistent seasons. Jantscher was excellent in the ACL but has not been as clinical in the league, while Juninho's injury issues have restricted him to thirteen games in all competitions, scoring eight goals in the process. Tan Chun-lok has been dependable when called upon, with over half of his appearances being as a substitute despite him being a regular starter for the Hong Kong team. In the winter, Uzbek forward Sherzod Temirov was brought in, and has three goals so far. Bosnian centre back Sedin Ramic arrived in January, and after a shaky Sapling Cup debut, was awarded Man of the Match in the league game with Rangers. With Oli Gerbig departing to the CSL, we will likely see a lot more of Ramic as the season progresses.

Angry Boundary Street grade: B

Best performances

Mikael- credits to Scoop
Jakob Jantscher scored four goals in four games in the ACL, despite our poor team performances. Mikael scored a wondergoal in Jeonbuk in the ACL, and has fifteen goals in all competitions. Paulo was immense away in Bangkok, saving a penalty and helping ensure our ten men came away with a point. As a team, the comprehensive victory over Lee Man in the Sapling Cup and the league thrashing of HKFC have been the best performances. Against HKFC, Kim Shin-wook scored a hat trick, and Igor Sartori contributed a goal and four assists; neither have looked anywhere near these levels since, with Kim not featuring in the league again. Our ACL win away in Singapore gave a positive ending to a tough campaign, and the grit we showed with ten men against Eastern to force extra time and eventually win the Senior Shield was impressive.

Worst performances

Onazi- credits to Scoop
The 4-1 defeat to Lee Man in the league was a massive setback for our title ambitions, with new signings Onazi and Damcevski being particularly poor (the latter never played again). All three ACL home games were poor, but Lion City was arguably the worst, as we conceded sloppy goals, aided by Onazi putting in a shambolic performance (he never played after this game). The first half against Sham Shui Po was poor; at half time we were drawing 0-0 with the worst team in the league before a goal fest papered over the cracks. In the Friday night home game against Southern, our attack was non-existent and we were incredibly lucky to get away with a draw - VAR reprieving us of conceding in the last minute, the wrong decision in our opinion. Although we had a good first half away at North District, we conceded two goals in the last ten minutes to almost throw the game away.

CompetitionResultsProgress
HKPLP10 W8 D1 L12nd
FA CupN/AQF against HKFC on 9/3
Senior ShieldP3 W3Winners
Sapling CupP7 W4 D1 L23rd in group (1 match left)
Premier League CupP2 W2Winners
Asian Champions LeagueP6 W1 D1 L44th (eliminated)

Premier League Cup victory- credits to Scoop
We are still able to win another treble, but consistency will be crucial to defending the league title, as Lee Man remain unbeaten. Winning both trophies so far is a good return. Even with international players absent for the majority of the campaign, Kitchee should have still had the quality to go through in the Sapling Cup, which they still can with victory over Lee Man in March. Kitchee should beat HKFC in the FA Cup quarter final, to would set up a semi-final meeting with Eastern. The Asian Champions League was the main disappointment, finishing bottom of the group and losing all three home games.

Angry Boundary Street grade: B+

NameSeason stats
Mikael 7.5 out of 10
Our top scorer, with 15 goals in 22 games in all competitions. Scored a wonder goal in Jeonbuk but faded
afterwards in the ACL. Has missed two games through suspension, primarily through repeated dissent to
officials, and currently has 10 yellow cards. This habit could prove costly in the long term for Kitchee’s season, as his goals are crucial to our success
22 games, 15 goals, 2 assists
Jakob Jantscher 6.5 out of 10
Has been mainly utilised through the middle in the absence of Kim and Juninho, but would be more effective
and comfortable on the left. Four goals in as many games in the ACL gave us hope of positive results, and he is scoring regularly in the Sapling Cup. Needs more goals in the league if we continue to use him through the middle. Possibly more suited to the counter attacking tactics of the ACL rather than the dominance in
possession of the HKPL.
21 games, 10 goal, 4 assists
Cleiton 6 out of 10
Much closer to forty than thirty these days, and does not have the legs he had before, especially for the ACL. Played every minute of our victorious Senior Shield campaign, but needs to stop arguing with officials, having already served one ban this season. Has been in poor form (the HKU23 game aside), likely leaving at the end of the season.
21 games, 3 goals, 6 assists
Andy Russell 6 out of 10
At times has looked short of pace, especially in the ACL. With Gerbig gone and Helio’s injury issues, we will
need a big shift from him in the second half of the season. Retired from international football, and has chipped in with four goals in the cups.
20 games, 4 goals
Fernando 7 out of 10
Now thirty seven, the Kitchee legend has rolled back the years, delivering solid performances at either left
back or left wing. Eleven assists in all competitions, and his set pieces have posed problems for defenders.
Scored in three successive games in December, including two freekicks. A shoulder injury forced him off early in the Senior Shield final, and we hope to see him back soon. Gave away an unlucky penalty in the ACL.
20 games, 3 goals, 11 assists
Tan Chun-lok 5.5 out of 10
Only made five starts in the league despite being a regular for Hong Kong. Is a fan favourite but his lack of
playing time relative to his ability means we may lose him in the summer. Has chipped in with a couple of
goals, and made a productive cameo in the Senior Shield final.
19 games, 3 goals
Charlie Scott 7.5 out of 10
Struggled for minutes early on as Kitchee opted to use Onazi. Once that experiment finished, Scott returned
and has hardly put a foot wrong since. Scored a couple of screamers in the league, as well as a crucial penalty to force extra time in the Senior Shield final. His passing has been the springboard for many attacks, and he has deputised at centre back on occasion. Good delivery from set pieces.
18 games, 3 goals, 3 assists
Roberto 6.5 out of 10
The veteran right back continues to be a regular part of the squad, and scored the winning penalty in the
Premier League Cup. A rock in defence despite his advancing years, playing both CB and RB. Should Kitchee still be so reliant on a player turning forty one in May, despite consistent performances?
17 games
Law Tsz-chun 5 out of 10
Like Shinichi, wing back probably suits his skillset more than full back. His versatility has helped, playing
up and down both flanks, including over a hundred minutes at left back in the Senior Shield final. Deputised
as captain on occasion. Could do with adding more assists to his game.
17 games, 3 assists
Helio 4.5 out of 10
Age is starting to catch up with him, exposed in the ACL. Struggled with injury throughout, and his sending off in the Senior Shield final put pressure on us. Possibly departing at the end of the campaign.
17 games
Ruslan Mingazow 5 out of 10
The reigning Hong Kong player of the year has not hit the lofty heights of last campaign. We need to see more from him now he is fully recovered after his injury trouble. Scored a memorable late winner in the Senior Shield final, but will be disappointed not to contribute much to the ACL campaign. Ironically his best
performance this season came against Hong Kong for Turkmenistan.
17 games, 3 goals, 4 assists
Shinichi Chan 6 out of 10
Exposed defensively at times this season, and would probably be more comfortable playing wing back.
Returned injured from the Asian Cup. Would like to see him add some more assists when he returns. Linked
with a move to the CSL.
17 games, 3 assists
Cheng Ching-lung 4 out of 10
Most of his appearances have come off the bench, except in the Sapling Cup where he has started out of
position at right back and right wing. Despite making his 100th Kitchee appearance this season, it is unclear
what the future holds for him. Made his first league start for over a year against HKU23.
16 games, 1 goal, 3 assists
Oli Gerbig 6.5 out of 10
Played both CB and RB this season, with performances leading to a debut for HK, and played every minute at the Asian Cup. Has now left for Henan of the Chinese Super League, and will be a big loss at the heart of our defence.
16 games, 1 goal, 1 assist
Poon Pui-hin 5 out of 10
Only two league starts but has injected some energy in his second half cameos. His ACL campaign ended
with a harsh red card in Bangkok. Been a part of HK squads for the Asian Games and Asian Cup and has
performed well. Needs more minutes through the middle and too often is brought on late on, so has had limited opportunities to shine.
14 games, 2 goal, 2 assists
Paulo Cesar 7 out of 10
The veteran has kept six clean sheets in all competitions, and was Kitchee's star man as we held on for a point in Bangkok. Unfortunately got injured in November, but helped us win the Senior Shield in his first game for nearly three months. His penalty saving prowess has got us out of jail on more than one occasion.
13 games
Juninho 6 out of 10
Injury prone, but effective when fit (8 in 13 in all comps). The constant thigh problems are a cause for
concern. Scored the winner to put us through to the Senior Shield final, in between two injury layoffs. Now
counts as a local player, giving us more flexibility as a side, and has made his debut for HK.
13 games, 8 goals, 5 assists
Huang Yang 5 out of 10
Our club captain retired from international duty after not making the Asian Cup squad, and turned forty in
October. Only really featured off the bench this season, save for the Sapling Cup.
12 games
Igor Sartori 3 out of 10
His attacking output is not at the levels of last season, and he will likely leave in the summer. Ignoring the routs of HKFC and HKU23, he has 3 assists and no goals in ten games in all competitions, far below what is
expected.
12 games, 3 goals, 7 assists
Sherzod Temirov 5 out of 10
Fans had low expectations when he was signed, as the Uzbek striker only scored twice last season in Iran.
Has already exceeded this tally which will do wonders for his confidence, and his work rate pleases fans.
9 games, 3 goals, 1 assist
Wang Zhenpeng 5 out of 10
Deputised in the absence of Paulo through injury and looked ok, but struggled to keep clean sheets. Saved a couple of penalties, and is another member of the squad approaching forty years old.
8 games
Tuscany Shek 4 out of 10
Made his debut in the Sapling Cup 15, and looks confident but prone to a few mistakes. Made his league
debut at 16 against HKU23 but had precious little to do.
6 games
Kim Shin-wook 1.5 out of 10
Waste of money. Has only played six games in all competitions (scoring 5 goals and missing a Panenka).
Rumour has it Kitchee are tied into an expensive three year deal, so contract termination is not a financially
viable option
.
6 games, 5 goals
Ibrahim Kurban 3 out of 10
Made his debut in the closing stages in Jeonbuk, and started against HKU23. Mainly featured in the Sapling
Cup. Kitchee opted to play Ramic out of position instead with Shinichi and Fernando out against Rangers, so he is unlikely to play a big role.
5 games
Ogenyi Onazi 1 out of 10
Shambles. How this man has over fifty international caps and went to a World Cup we do not know. Fan
sentiment towards him was not helped by his idiotic antics on social media, including posting his own
highlight reel and arguing with fans.
5 games
Sedin Ramic 4 out of 10
Shaky Sapling Cup debut, solid league debut (earning man of the match). Not the best with the ball at his
feet and has been exposed on occasion. A young centre back who will likely play more than originally
expected with Gerbig's departure to the CSL. Too early to know for sure but a promising prospect.
3 games
Aleksandr Damcevski 1 out of 10
Also a shambles, only played two games. Walked straight down the tunnel after the defeat at Lee Man and
was never seen on the pitch again.
2 games
Seb Buddle 3 out of 10
Only played eight minutes but does have a goal. Will likely only play against weaker opponents as there are
better options in both right-sided positions.
1 game, 1 goal
Best of the Rest 5 out of 10
Playing most Sapling Cup games during international breaks has meant more minutes for our youngsters,
with many making their professional debuts. But there is a big gap between these U22 players and the first
team.
Matthew Slattery (7 games) has looked energetic but is yet to score in seven Sapling games. Jason
Kam (6 games)
has not pushed on from last season, with Kitchee tending to opt for experience in central
defence instead.
Yuen Chun-him (6 games) has two goals and three assists. Yeung Cheuk-kwan (6 games) scored his first professional goal, and looks promising in his cameos off the bench. Lau Yu-ho (2 games) Yu Ching-wai (2 games) and Pang Hing-hei (2 games) have been restricted to short cameos off the bench.
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