South China did their chances of progressing to the last 16 of the AFC Cup no harm at all on Wednesday evening when they defeated Maziya Sports & Recreation 2-0 at the Hong Kong Stadium.
A loss would have all but ended South China’s bid to advance in the competition, however their impressive showing against Maziya has handed them a life-line. They are still at the foot of Group G but now have three points. Maziya are in third with four points after missing a great opportunity to move into second.
Law Hiu Chung broke the deadlock in the 35th minute of the game as the Hong Kong midfielder collected a stray ball to finish from close range and trigger euphoric celebrations from his teammates and the home supporters at the stadium.
Seven minutes later it was the turn of Chan Siu Ki to get among the goals. A superb throw-in from Che Runqiu found Ki, who bent a left-footed shot past the keeper as he spun to face goal.
The second half saw more dominance from the home side. Maziya struggled to create chances throughout the 90 minutes. South China were able to see out the remainder of the game without any scares. The three points provides them with a fighting chance of advancing.
Their coach Ricardo Rambo was impressed with the energy his side displayed for the entirety of the game and praised the mental strength he saw from the players.
“The players played really well in the first half, as we attacked and did not give them a chance to play the game,” Rambo remarked.
“Normally if you’re winning 2-0 you try to control the match, but we created even more chances and tried to get a better result.
“We got a lot of important games to come. The most important is to bring the attitude we saw in the first half, the attacking mentality and the determination to win the match.”