Chung Wai Keung goes from 'sinner' to saint in historic victory
Hong Kong: A wild night at Mong Kok Stadium saw Tai Po FC substitute Chung Wai Keung turn match-winner as his side came out on top 4-2 over local rivals Kitchee SC in their opening Group I fixture of the 2019 AFC Cup.
Tai Po FC's first ever AFC Cup win was always going to be one for the record books, but its entry into the annals of the club's history took on extra flourish with an exciting six-goal thriller against countrymen Kitchee SC.
And it was to be extra special for 23-year-old forward Chung Wai Keung, although it didn't begin at all the way he would have planned.
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"When I came on [at 76 minutes] we were winning 2-1, but it felt like as soon as I was on the opponent equalised," he said, after Kitchee's Dani Cancela netted to make the scoreline 2-2, completing a comeback from two goals down.
"I hadn't played a lot for the team since returning from international duty in November, so my confidence was low.
"And after this equaliser, I felt like some kind of sinner."
Nevertheless, the tale was not to end there. An excellent through ball from Igor Sartori found the substitute inside the area, and he slotted home from a narrow angle to return the lead to Tai Po with just two minutes remaining.
Australian striker Harry Sawyer made sure of the result in added time, but by then Chung's personal redemption had already been assured.
"I didn't give up in the match or feel let down, I kept going, and - finally - was able to score an important goal for the team," he said.
Chung's previous action in a continental competition was last year's regional qualifiers for the EAFF [East Asian Football Federation] E-1 Football Championship, when he netted a crucial goal against hosts Chinese Taipei.
However since then, he admitted, a lack of self-belief had been hampering his career development.
"Recently, I have started to get more chances to play which is building up my confidence," he added.
"So I must give thanks to the trust placed in me by my coach Kin Sir [Lee Chi Kin]. The goal and the victory are the gifts I hope to give him.’
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