Manchester City win 'treble'

Manchester City win 'treble'

English team's stars of the future finish season on a high at annual Hong Kong Soccer Sevensas fans get a kick out of sweaty souvenir shirts and socks.

Junior Reporter
July 19, 2013
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July 07, 2011

Manchester City added a third trophy to last season's historic success. After claiming both the English League Cup and the English Premier League title, they won last month's Hong Kong Soccer Sevens championship - the annual seven-a-side event held at the Hong Kong Football Club.

The three-day event featured matches in two sections - the main tournament, featuring teams with young stars of the future, and the masters competition with retired professional footballers.

Manchester City beat Hong Kong champions Kitchee 2-1 in the main final, while Olaf Lindbergh's extra-time goal made sure Aegon Ajax All Stars beat USRC 1-0 in the masters final.

The group stages of the matches featured 28 teams, including the English clubs Manchester City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Sunderland, and Leicester City - the English Championship winners, who will play in the Premier League next season. Final standings in the groups decided which teams went on to play in the knockout rounds.

Former Liverpool stars prove crowd favourites

Two retired Liverpool footballers, England's Peter Beardsley and Finland's Jari Litmanen, who both played in the masters' event, were the fans' favourites. They were asked for photos and autographs whenever they walked past the public stands, and the two legends did not disappoint the public. After playing their matches, they were patient when doing interviews with the media.

Despite the scorching weather, everyone seemed to enjoy the three days of matches. Parents and children cheered loudly during the action. Spectators in a special VIP stand were able to enjoy games from a special position. But everyone - even people sitting outside the VIP areas - were sitting really close to the players and the action. So even during the warm-up before matches, the players on the pitch could hear the loud support of the fans.

Big screen shows matches live

All the matches were broadcast live on a big screen inside the stadium, so that all the spectators could get close-up views of the action.

Children who preferred to play football instead of watching matches were able to do so on a number of smaller courts next to the main pitch.

The young fans were most interested in what the players were wearing, rather than their skills on the pitch. Many youngsters rushed to the tunnel, where players walked off the pitch after matches, to ask the stars for things as souvenirs.

Many shirts shin pads, shorts - even smelly socks - were presented to the delighted spectators by the players.

One of the most interesting moments came during the knockout rounds, when the golden goal rule was introduced during extra time after one match ended 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.

Crowd thrilled by golden goal

Many spectators watched with excitement as both teams were reduced to only four players.

The "golden goal" rule means that the first team to score a goal wins the match. Therefore, goalkeepers were usually the players to make the difference, as they organised their team's attack. But if the team's attack failed to score the winning goal, they were left at risk - desperate to stop their opponents from scoring.

Commentators did their best to entertain the crowds during the matches. Apart from reading out the full names of each team, and providing commentary of the action, they had fun with some of the players' names.

'Jackie Chan' among players

One player in the Hong Kong Football Club captain's select team was called Jackie Chan. The commentator made sure the crowd knew the connection to the "other Jackie Chan" - actor and martial artist.

There were also some friendly "boos" and laughter from the crowd when the announcers made mistakes pronouncing players' names.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Manchester City win 'treble'

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1 comment

Jack Sze

11:34am

Hi Young Post,
Would you mind adding this article to my JR profile(still pending)?
Perhaps it is the first and final article that I wrote for YP.
Thanks,
Jack Sze