Former South China striker Daniel McBreen made a scoring return to Hong Kong to help Wallsend Boys Club make a perfect start at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens as last year’s finalists recorded back-to-back wins in Group B on Friday.
McBreen opened his account by netting the first goal in a 2-0 win over Singapore Cricket Club before the 2015 AFC Cup joint top scorer scored the only goal of the game as Wallsend brought the night to a close with a 1-0 win over Hong Kong Football Club Veterans.
“We did the job by winning both which is what we wanted to do,” said McBreen. “They brought me here to score goals and I scored them – hopefully I can do the same again on Saturday.
“It’s different from 11-a-side, you have to adjust to things like no offside, but it’s enjoyable. We’re looking for more of the same tomorrow.”
Yau Yee League Masters join Wallsend at the top of the Group B standings after the local side recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over Citi All Stars before following that by defeating Hong Kong Football Club Veterans 3-1.
“It was a great start, we couldn’t have dreamt of a better one,” said Yau Yee’s Kurt Lettani.
“Against Citi we put pressure on them – we played it well, played it smart and scored one goal. We’re very confident for tomorrow and we’ll go out and give it 100%.”
Citi All Stars, meanwhile, will have their work cut out if they are to catch the early pacesetters after posting a win and a loss on the opening evening of the competition.
“We lost the first game but won the second so we’re kind of happy,” said former Liverpool and Czech Republic midfielder Patrik Berger, who scored the second in his side’s 2-0 victory over Singapore Cricket Club Tigers.
“It’s harder than I expected and it’s very competitive because everyone wants to win.
“It’s always easier if you score the first goal because then you can keep the ball and the other team has to do the running – we did this in the second game.”
Hong Kong Football Club Chairman’s Select are the leaders in Group A, meanwhile, having recorded back-to-back wins over Discovery Bay and defending champions USRC to open up a two-point lead at the top of the standings.
“We played against one of the best teams [USRC] and won because we pressurised them and scored at the right moment,” said Hong Kong Football Club Chairman’s Select defender Fouad Ceet, whose side will kick off Saturday’s action against Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans before a clash with Dutch side Ajax All Stars.
Ajax, playing at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens for the first time since 2014, kicked off with a 1-0 victory over Discovery Bay before conceding a late James Grady equaliser against Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans as the game ended 1-1.
The two-time champions sit in second place in Group A and are looking to raise their game on Saturday as Ajax aim to maintain their record of having never failed to advance to the final.
“We are very fortunate to have four points because we have been terrible,” said Danish striker Kenneth Perez.
“The other teams are defending against us but that’s their right – we just need to be good enough to break them down and we’re not at the moment. We need to improve our tempo.”
Holders USRC, who beat Wallsend 2-1 in the 2015 final, will be looking for a positive result in their early Saturday morning encounter with Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans ahead of a clash with Ajax in a tie that could decide who progresses to the semi-finals of the Cup competition.