Tseng Kwan O Sport, Hong Kong
JORGE TARRES PARAMO (2)
MOHAMAD ASHARI BIN SAMSUDIN,
ABDUL HADI BIN YAHAYA
Hong Kong: Hong Kong league leaders Kitchee set-up a home tie with Arema Indonesia in the last 16 of the AFC Cup after Spanish striker Jordi Tarres scored twice in the first half on Wednesday to secure a 2-2 draw with Group F runners-up Terengganu of Malaysia.
With Kitchee simply needing to avoid defeat at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground on the final Matchday to top the group, Tarres twice handed the home side the lead in the first half only to see Ashari Samsudin’s 15th minute strike and a second half penalty from Abdul Hadi Yahaya deny Josep Gombau’s side a fourth win in six games.
Despite failing to earn the three points they needed to edge ahead of Kitchee at the top of the table FA Cup winners Terengganu, who had also already secured their place in the last 16, will face Malaysian east coast rivals and Group H winners Kelantan on May 23 in their one-off tie.
“I am happy with the team. We took the point we needed to be in the next round in the first position which was our objective,” said Kitchee’s Spanish coach Gombau.
“It was not easy as Terengganu are not an easy side. The match was equal and both teams performed well. I am satisfied with the point.
“In the next round we will play at home which is a little advantage for us, but all the teams in the last 16 are good. We will play Arema and I am confident. It is just one game but we will play at home which is important.”
Kitchee, who are just one win away from retaining the Hong Kong domestic title, took the lead after just nine minutes as Tarres muscled in front of his marker on the edge of the six-yard area to meet Lo Kwan Yee’s right wing cross and the Spanish striker’s glancing header found the opposite corner.
But the lead lasted just six minutes as Terengganu carved open a static Kitchee defence with midfielder Ashari playing in Zubir Azmi on the right side of the penalty area before turning home the striker’s low cross from the edge of the six yard area.
Kitchee, though, regained the lead in the last minute of the first half as Tarres raced in behind the Terengganu defence from Chan Man Fai’s clever flick and with his first touch the Spanish striker coolly lifted the ball over advancing goalkeeper Shamirza Yusoff from the edge of the area.
But with 20 minutes remaining Terengganu equalised for a second time as Hadi confidently converted from the penalty spot after being pulled back by Spanish defender Fernando Recio as the striker attempted to chase a through ball into the Kitchee area.
“We are satisfied with the game because we have many injures,” said Terengganu assistant coach Khalid Mohammed Dahan.
“It was a tough night for Terengganu. We had only 16 players and two were injured and we played all the players even though they were injured, but we had no choice. A defender also had to play as a striker, but we had no choice. The players were very determined against a good team and we are satisfied with the result. Kitchee deserve to be champions of the group.
“Kitchee have topped the group and we are runners-up so we have to play the champions from Group H which is Kelantan who are also from Malaysia. We will play Kelantan who are our neighbours so we don’t have to take a flight; it is just a two hour bus ride.
“Hopefully our players will recover soon and hopefully they can play. Kelantan and Terengganu are the top two teams in Malaysia at the moment so I think it will be a good match and I am looking forward to playing Kelantan.”
|KITCHEE (HKG)||TERENGGANU (MAS)|