Saturday 6 June 2009

2009 Hong Kong International Soccer 7’s

Summary of 2009 Hong Kong International Soccer 7’s

Video highlights to follow.

[last updated 06 June 2009]

Media report: McGowan helps Hoops KO rivals (SCMP; subscription required):

Unus Alladin
Jun 01, 2009

A star was born at the HKFC IP Global International Sevens as Celtic striker Paul McGowan lit up the tournament with a dazzling display in a 1-0 final victory over bitter rivals Rangers last night.

McGowan's pace and skill proved too much for the Hoops' Old Firm rivals as he netted the winner in the main competition at Hong Kong Football Club.

Few spectators had expected an all-Scottish final but that's what happened as Celtic, runners-up in this year's Scottish Premier League behind Rangers, got one over their rivals.

And they had 21-year-old McGowan to thank, as the pacy forward turned, twisted and ran through the Rangers defence, hitting the woodwork twice before finally finding the net with a fine finish two minutes into the second half.

McGowan is already making a name for himself, earning several senior appearances with Celtic, including a start against Spanish team Villarreal in the Champions League in December last year.

"Hopefully I can get more starts in the senior team. I have been with the senior squad and I have been training with them and that has benefited me enormously," said McGowan.

"I played in this tournament last year and we reached the final against Aston Villa. Unfortunately we didn't win it but we made up for it this time."

Celtic reached the final after defeating the Australian under-18 team 1-0. Rangers stunned Villa 3-1 in their semi-final to book the Old Firm clash.

Celtic reserve team coach Willie McStay was delighted with his team's performance. "We dominated the first half and in the second half we created chances and we had a great game. We lost in the semi-finals of this tournament in 2007 and then lost in the final last year and now we have won it and I am absolutely delighted," said McStay, who played for Celtic from 1979 to 1987.

"The seven-a-side game is so different. You've got to think, you've got to keep the ball and you have to have good movement and patience. There's no room for error here.

"I think it's a fantastic tournament.

"Some of these young boys have never travelled outside Britain so it's a big experience for them."

McStay said Celtic dominated the match and could have won by a bigger margin.

"We hit the bar and then the post and we had great chances. Hopefully the boys will have a future in the game and that this will be an experience to help them on their way," he said.

Meanwhile, local outfit Golden Rainbow were the surprise winners of the Masters tournament after Yeung Kin-keung scored a superb volley in extra time to give his team a 2-1 win against Football for Life.

It was the second straight upset victory for Golden Rainbow, who also dumped favourites IP Global All Stars 1-0 in the semi-final.

Football for Life beat Southampton 2-1 to earn their place in the final.

Another local club, Citizen, surprised West Ham United to win the Shield final, winning 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw, while Birmingham City won the Plate final against Kitchee 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

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