'Hong Kong Barca' in comeback victory as Warriors collapse in second half
The home side surrendered a two-goal lead in the second period of the game to sink to a second successive defeat in the AFC Cup
|FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
Warriors FC surrendered a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 in their AFC Cup Group E encounter against Kitchee SC at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.
Goals from Tatsuro Inui and Erwan Gunawan appeared to put the hosts firmly in control before the break, but their defence was decapitated by the visitors after the restart.
The Hong Kong outfit displayed bouncebackability in the second half as Jordi Paramo grabbed a brace six minutes into the second half, before Lo Kwan Yee and Henry Cheng both struck to secure victory.
Warriors coach V. Selvaraj was forced to start with only three foreign players as ex-Japan international Kazuyuki Toda and Shimpei Sakurada failed to regain full fitness in time.
Kitchee showed their intentions early on the game but were restricted to long-range efforts as they could not find a way past the tight and disciplined Warriors defence.
It took the eight-time S.League champions a while to find their rhythm in the final third as they slowly began to dominate proceedings, and it was no surprise when they took the lead.
Set-piece specialist Inui curled a freekick from the edge of the area into the bottom corner to give his side the lead in the 23rd minute, and Erwan doubled the advantage when he pounced to score after Cheung Kin Fung had horrendously misjudged the flight of the ball in the box.
However, the Warriors were left shell-shocked in the second half as their opponents went on a rampage after the restart.
Paramo finished it off a well-worked move inside the six-yard box in the 46th minute, and the Spaniard then added a second with a magnificent solo effort to bring his side on level terms.
The Warriors’ defence was struggling to deal with the pace shown by their opponents and they fell behind in the 62nd minute when Kwan Yee headed the ball into the back of the net.
The rout was completed 15 minutes from the end as Cheng was allowed acres of space in the box to volley the ball beyond a bewildered Hassan Sunny in goal and condemn the Warriors to a second defeat in as many group games.
The other match in the group between Churchill Brothers and Semen Padang ended 2-2 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India.
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