Review&Preview: 2014 AFC Cup – Semi-finals
KITCHEE SC (HKG) - ERBIL SC (IRQ) 50%-50%
First Leg: Erbil SC - Kitchee FC 1-1
59′ Salah – 68′ Belencoso (p.k.).
Attendance: 300 (the match was played in Jordan because of security reasons).
Western Asian sides had dominated the previous editions (11) of this Cup, but this time the music could be different. Kitchee SC has proved to be quite convincing so far, one of the best teams in East Asia, but it’s true that in this Round they’re facing for the first time in the current edition a Western club, that should be stronger than the previous opponents, that anyway have never been dominated by Kitchee SC.
The First Leg (1-1) was balanced and so the tie is still open, but it must be said that teams from Iraq aren’t allowed to play in their Country, so Erbil SC had no real home advantage, while Kitchee scored an away goal that could allow them to advance even with a 0-0 draw, so the Iraqi side will have to attack and the Eastern Asians could play on counterattacks.
Anyway few Kitchee’s players could be psychologically affected by protests and disorders that are currently taking place in Hong Kong.
The team from Hong Kong can field several foreign players, such as four Spaniards, Fernando Recio (defender), Dani Carcela (defender), Jordi Tarres (striker) and, most of all, Juan Belencoso (10 goals so far in current AFC Cup), two Brazilians, Hélio (defender) and Paulinho Piracicaba (striker), a Nigerian, Alex Akande (striker), and a South Korean, Jang Kyung-Jin (defender), plus several players with double citizenship.
Moreover ther ar several Internationals of Hong Kong, such as the goalkeeper Wang Zhenpeng, the defenders Lo Kwan Yee, Cheung Kin Fung and Tsang Chi Hau, the midfielders Ngan Lok Fung, Chu Siu Kei, Huang Yang and Lam Ka Wai, and the striker Xu Deshuai.
In Erbil SC there are several Iraqi Internationals, such as the goalkeeper Jalal Hassan, the defenders Ali Faez, Herdi Siamand, the midfielders Saif Salman, Saad Abdoul-Amir, Nabel Sabah, Halgurd Mulla Mohammed, and the forward Amjad Radhi.
The First Leg.
PERSIPURA JAYAPURA (IDN) – QADSIA SC (KUW) 40%-60%
First Leg: Qadsia SC - Persipura Jayapura 4-2
11′, 77′ Subotić, 64′ Al-Hashan, 65′ Al-Mushawa – 21′ Bonai, 31′ Solossa.
Qadsia SC, the Runner-up of last edition, is probably one of the strongest teams in the competition, and a 4-2 home win is probably a positive result that maybe makes them favorite, but the Indonesians scored 2 away goals that have kept the tie still open, also considering that in the Quarter-finals Persipura Yayapura lost 3-2 away to Kuwait SC, that is maybe even stronger than Qadsia SC, but then unbelievably reversed it winning 6-1 at home.
Among the several goals of the First Leg, we want to point one the Bonai’s one, that was very beautiful, and the Al-Mushawa’s one, in which the Persipura’s GK was anything but perfect.
The star of Persipura Jayapura is probably the offensive midfielder Robertino Pugliara, while other important players are the Cameroonian defender Bio Paulin and the Indonesian Internationals, Ruben Sanadi (full-back), Immanuel Wanggai (midfielder) and the Captain Boaz Solossa (striker).
Among Qadsia SC players we can find a Nigerian International, the forward Shehu Abdullahi, a Spaniard defender, Álvaro Silva (former Màlaga, Xerex, Cadiz and Petrolul Ploiesti player), and a Bosnian striker Danijel Subotić (he has played in the top tiers of Belgium, Romania, Ukraine and Azerbaijan) and several Kuwaitian Internationals, such as the goalkeeper Nawaf Al Khaldi, the defender Amer Al-Fadhel, the midfielders Talal Al-Amer, Fahad Al-Ansari and Seleh Al-Sheikh, and the striker Saif Al-Hashan.
The First Leg.