2021-22 Sapling Cup (Second Round) – Kitchee 3:2 BC Rangers
Kitchee and BC Rangers met up in Yuen Long Stadium on a glorious Sunday afternoon for the latest fixture in the Sapling Cup. Two goals by Dejan Damjanovic, as well as a lone goal from Manu Gavilan, dragged Kitchee past BC Rangers by 3:2 in the Sapling Cup clash.
Kitchee started the game strongly and quickly produced several goal-scoring chances. On the opening minute, Chan Shinichi floated a teasing cross into the BC Rangers box. Alexander Akande spun-and-fired but could not generate enough pace on his shot to beat BC Rangers goalkeeper Oleksii Shiliakotin.
Shortly afterwards, Kitchee was at it again. Chan Shinichi delivered another centering pass to the BC Rangers goal-mouth. Matthew Orr arrived at the back-post but directed the ball wide.
BC Rangers almost broke the game open on the 13th minute. Tse Long-hin’s free-kick created pressure inside the Kitchee box. Leandro Basan dished out an acrobatic bicycle-kick but was splendidly turned away by Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng.
It was back to Kitchee’s turn on the 18th minute. The extremely lively Chan Shinichi sent another dangerous cross towards the BC Rangers goal-mouth. Poon Pui-hin connected at the back-post but fired the ball wide.
Kitchee went on and broke the game open on the 24th minute. Poon Pui-hin made a powerful run down the right side but was brought down by a BC Rangers player inside the box. The referee awarded Kitchee with a penalty shot. Manu Gavilan took care of the spot-kick and drove the ball home. Kitchee was up 1:0.
BC Rangers almost tied the game on the 28th minute. Leandro Basan unleashed a dangerous free-kick from the left flank that ended up hitting the side-netting.
On the 37th minute, Kitchee came close to adding to its lead. Chan Shinichi did well on the left side by knocking a superb cross towards the middle. Manu Gavilan went sliding in but fired the ball wide from close-range.
Right before half time, Kitchee generated another scoring chance. Charlie Scott sent an in-swinging corner-kick into the BC Rangers penalty area. Alexander Akande soared high and nodded the ball towards the net, only to see his effort easily claimed by goalkeeper Oleksii Shiliakotin. The first half finished with Kitchee leading BC Rangers 1:0.
BC Rangers came up with a solid chance to tie the game on the 49th minute, as Ryota Hayashi unloaded from distance, forcing out a tremendous flying save from Kitchee goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng.
On the other end, it was Kitchee’s turn. Manu Gavilan picked up the ball through a teammate’s long pass, controlled it with a nifty touch, then blasted the ball over the crossbar.
BC Rangers equalized on the 66th minute through a spot-kick. Walter Soares was brought down inside the Kitchee box by Tomas Maronesi. The referee quickly pointed to the penalty spot. Leandro Basan converted the spot-kick and tied the game at 1:1 for BC Rangers.
However, BC Rangers’ joy was short-lived, as Kitchee regained its lead shortly afterwards. On the 69th minute, the referee spotted a foul committed by a BC Rangers player inside his own box and awarded Kitchee with a penalty-shot. Dejan Damjanovic kept his nerves and tucked the ball home with ease. Kitchee was up 2:1.
Kitchee kept the pressure coming and added a quick goal. On the 70th minute, Manu Gavilan’s lovely pass was picked up by Dejan Damjanovic. The latter motored into the BC Rangers box and fired the ball home through the near-post. Kitchee was up 3:1.
It was still Kitchee afterwards. On the 84th minute, Cleiton Velasques knocked a teasing cross towards the middle. Philip Chan sent a leaping header towards goal but nodded the ball wide.
Late in the game, BC Rangers was given a life-line, as a Kitchee player committed a foul inside the box. The referee duly gave BC Rangers a penalty-shot. Leandro Basan buried the spot-kick and fired the ball home. BC Rangers was down by a goal.
However, Kitchee managed to nurse the lead towards the final whistle, as the side went on to beat BC Rangers by 3:2 at the final whistle.