HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens

Leicester City Crowned Hong Kong Citi Soccer Sevens Champions

A youthful Leicester City side were crowned as HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens champions after defeating holders Aston Villa 3-0 in a frantic final on Sunday.

Winners in 2013, the Foxes' second Sevens title came after overcoming West Ham United and Rangers in the knockout phase of the tournament. 

Having won Group B on Saturday, defeating the HKFC Captain's Select, Kashima Antlers and Wellington Pheonix, City didn't lose any of the energy or perseverance which had earned them acclaim on Day One.

In all, Leicester won every single match, conceding just twice. A seven-a-side competition, played below the towering Hong Kong skyscrapers, the Sevens sees sides from across the globe compete 14-minute matches.

On Day Two, however, fixtures were extended to 10 minutes and held the possibility of switching to a four-a-side extra-time format. An early quarter-final against West Ham was their first test.

Eppiah, who scored three on Saturday, gave City the lead after two minutes by showing strength to turn and fire it beyond the goalkeeper. Rosaire Longelo equalised for the Hammers but Leicester soon regained their lead.

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HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens

It was Eppiah, again, who benefited from brilliant work on the flank by Gordon to slide it into the bottom corner and restore their advantage.

Gordon, a constant threat up front, then got one of his own by finishing a counter-attack with a tidy finish with the outside of his right foot.

Their reward was a semi-final clash with Rangers. Despite Max Ashmore’s early penalty, City’s dominance continued. They had to wait until the 14th minute, however, to restore parity.

Liandro Martis galloped down the wing to find Eppiah who, in turn, flicked it into the net with his ankle.

Another excellent run from Martis helped the Curaçaoan locate Eppiah once more to complete the turnaround with three minutes to play.

Eppiah finished it assuredly to give City a slender 2-1 lead but Knight added another to make sure with a neat finish following a powerful burst from deep.

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Josh Eppiah

It was a move which originated at the half-way line and typified the young defender’s performances in Hong Kong this summer.

The final flourish, a touch of skill to evade the Rangers 'keeper, added a touch of class to City’s performance and sent them into the final with momentum behind them.

It was enough to carry them to victory, too, with a brilliant 3-0 win over Villa seeing them crowned as champions.

First, Darnell Johnson played an inch-perfect pass into Eppiah who notched his seventh strike of the tournament. He needed another, though, to be confirmed as top-scorer.

Gordon got in on the act again just before the interval, picking the ball up in the channel and firing it into the far corner.

It's an outstanding effort. I'm delighted for the boys. They've been a credit to the Club this week so I'm proud.

Ben Petty

But Eppiah finished off a deserved victory by cutting inside his man and curling across goal with just four minutes remaining. It proved to be a fitting end to a memorable and rewarding trip.

After captain Hamza Choudhury had hoisted the trophy aloft, the players then took time out to sign autographs and give their shirts to young fans in the crowd.

Once they have returned home on Tuesday morning, everyone in Ben Petty's triumphant squad can look forward to a deserved summer break.

At the end of the day, Development Squad coach Ben Petty said: "I'm really proud of them. Obviously, I spoke about only having eight players who had played the game before. I thought we were outstanding throughout. We were fearless in the final, outstanding.

"We gradually improved, we got better with every game. It's an outstanding effort. I'm delighted for the boys. They've been a credit to the Club this week so I'm proud."

Day Two results:

Quarter-final: City 3-1 West Ham United (Eppiah 2’, 10’, Gordon 14’ / Longelo 7’)
Iversen, Knight, Johnson (Martis 15’), Wood (Pascanu 10’), Choudhury , Gordon (Sherif 15’), Eppiah.

Semi-final: City 3-1 Rangers (Gordon 14’, Eppiah 17’, Knight 19’ / Ashmore 2’ pen)
Iversen, Knight, Johnson, Pascanu (Wood 16), Choudhury, Eppiah (Martis 12), Gordon.

Final: City 3-0 Aston Villa (Eppiah 7’, 16’ Gordon 9’)
Iversen, Knight, Johnson, Choudhury, Sherif (Pascanu 13’), Eppiah, Gordon (Martis 13)

Day One results:

City 1-0 HKFC Captain’s Select (Martis 4’)
Iversen, Johnson, Choudhury, Knight, Martis (Wood 10’), Gordon (Sherif 12’), Eppiah (Pascanu 10’).

City 2-0 Kashima Antlers (Eppiah 2’, Johnson 12’)
Iversen, Wood, Knight (Pascanu 11’), Choudhury, Martis (Sherif 7’), Eppiah, Gordon (Johnson 9’).

City 3-0 Wellington Phoenix (Eppiah x2 4’, 5’, Sherif 11’)
Iversen, Wood, Pascanu, Choudhury (Knight 9’), Johnson, Gordon (Sherif 7’), Eppiah (Martis 7’).

Leicester City Crest





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