2021-22 Sapling Cup (First Round) – RCFC 1:2 Lee Man


RCFC and Lee Man squared off in Mongkok Stadium on Wednesday evening for the latest fixture in the Sapling Cup. Lee Man opened the score early in the game and fought off a spirited RCFC side by 2:1 on the evening.

Lee Man wasted no time and drew first blood of the game shortly after the opening whistle. Barely two minutes into the game, veteran Lee Hong-lim flew down the left wing and sent a well-placed cross into the RCFC box. Jonatan Acosta got to the right position and re-directed the ball home with ease. Lee Man was up 1:0.

On the 8th minute, Lee Man went knocking on the RCFC door once again. This time, midfielder Ngai Lok-fung picked up the ball outside the RCFC box and let rip, only to blast the ball well off target.

Lee Man made it 2:0 on the 12th minute. A well-delivered free-kick found Wong Ho-chun inside the RCFC box. The latter nodded the ball on, allowing Ngan Lok-fung to tuck it over the goal-line through a full-stretch effort.

RCFC produced its first scoring chance of the game on the 21st minute. A RCFC player headed the ball forward for teammate Wong Wai-kwok. The diminutive RCFC forward unleashed a quick shot from well outside the Lee Man box but sliced the ball wide.

Past the half hour mark, Lee Man’s Jonatan Acosta tried his luck with a shot from just outside the RCFC penalty area. However, RCFC goalkeeper Justin Law was in perfect position and easily smothered the ball through a neat sprawling save.

Moments later, it was Lee Man once again. Yu Wai-lim spotted a wide-open Yung Hui-to inside the RCFC box and teed up his teammate. Yung pulled the trigger but could not beat RCFC goalkeeper Justin Law with his low drive.

Lee Man continued to apply pressure towards the RCFC net and came close once again. On the 42nd minute, Wong Ho-chun belted a sweet strike from the right flank that rung off the crossbar and stayed out of the net.

Late in the first half, Lee Man had a glorious opportunity to expand its lead, as Lee Hong-lim squeezed a lovely forward pass through the RCFC defense and sent Chang Hei-yin into the box. The Lee Man young attacker fired a sliding shot but could beat RCFC shot-stopper Justin Law. Lee Man eventually nursed its two-goal lead all the way to the interval.

Lee Man came up with an early chance in the second half. On the 46th minute, Lee Hong-lim picked up a sloppy clearance from RCFC keeper Justin Law and then pulled the trigger from outside the box, only to drill the ball wide.

On the 51st minute, RCFC generated a rare scoring opportunity. Carles Tena connected with a teammate’s centering pass and sent a bouncing header towards the Lee Man net, only to be easily handled by Chan Ka-ho in the net.

It was back to Lee Man’s turn on the 56th minute. Riding on a counter-attack, Jonatan Acosta swung the ball from the left wing to the right flank. Chang Hei-yin picked up the ball, made several dazzling moves before hitting the side-netting with his shot.

Afterwards, Lee Man came close once again. On the 74th minute, Jonatan Acosta picked out Dutra Junior with a clever pass. The latter unleashed a delicate, curling strike but failed to trouble goalkeeper Justin Law.

On the 84th minute, RCFC’s Felipe Sa found the back of the net from inside the Lee Man penalty area, pulling one back for his side.

However, Sa’s effort proved to be too little too late, as Lee Man went on to beat RCFC by 2:1 on the evening.

RCFC 1:2 Lee Man