Local amateur side USRC have appeared in the last three finals at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens Masters event but, after defeating Wallsend Boys Club in the 2015 final, were unable to claim back-to-back titles as Citi All Stars ran out 3-1 victors in last year’s showpiece event.
Nonetheless, the Kowloon side put in another strong showing in 2016 when they topped Group A ahead of HKFC Chairman’s Select, KCC Veterans, Ajax All Stars and Discovery Bay. An impressive 2-1 victory over Ajax to seal top spot in the table and eliminate the Dutch team was among the highlights.
USRC then saw off tournament regulars Wallsend Boys Club 2-0 in the last four, but ultimately fell just short by suffering a 3-1 reversal to Citi All Stars in the final.
A year earlier, Brazilian duo Daniel Lins Cortes and Paulo Enrique each scored as USRC claimed the Masters title following a 2-1 final victory over a Wallsend side that featured former Leeds United striker Michael Bridges and ex-Newcastle United defender Robbie Elliott. They also reached the final in 2014, but lost out 1-0 to Ajax.
USRC won Hong Kong’s top amateur league, Division One of the Yau Yee League, in 2008, 2009 and 2014. They will return to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens as one of the favourites to lift a second Masters crown.