South China ease into last 16

Aung Thu at Muangthong United

Hong Kong’s South China booked their place in the knock-out stage of the AFC Cup with an impressive 3-0 victory away to Group G winners Mohun Bagan.

The results sees South China move to nine points, one point ahead of Yangon United, who beat Maziya (five points) 3-2 in the group’s other match.

Mohun Bagan will advance to the last 16 as winners in Group G after accumulating 11 points in their five matches prior to Wednesday’s defeat.

Law Hiu-Chung opened the scoring in the 19th minute, before Ryan Griffiths doubled the visitors’ advantage five minutes later.

Mahama Awal then added South China’s third on 33 minutes.

The Hong Kong side will next travel to Group E winners Philippines side Ceres La Salle, who were the winners in Group E, for their last 16 clash in a fortnight’s time.

Law opened the scoring after some enterprising play down the South China right flank, from where a pin-point cross by Awal into the Kolkata-based side left the South China midfielder with an easy finish from close range.

The hosts defense were undone again five minutes later, this time from a corner kick from the right, as captain Chan Wai Ho rose highest and knocked the ball down for Griffiths to bundle the ball into the back of the net from just a yard out.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Awal scored his side’s third goal, as his somewhat miss-hit strike lobbed over Leung Hing Kit in the visitors goal after taking a wicked deflection from the on-rushing defense.

The second half finished without much incident, as South China coasted to the most comfortable of victories, booking their place in the knockout stage.

Kean Lewis and Lalkamal Bhowmick did have chances to salvage something for Mohun, but failed to convert, while South China also had a few opportunities to add to their tally.