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Newcastle United retain HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens title after beating Rangers in final thriller

Captain Owen Bailey scored the extra-time winner as Newcastle United defended their HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens title after defeating Scotland’s Rangers 4-3 in a thrilling final at Hong Kong Football Club on Sunday.

In a repeat of the 2018 final, Rangers raced into a two-goal lead at half-time courtesy of a brace from Andrew Dallas only for Bailey and Luke Charman to restore parity.

Elias Sorensen completed the comeback for Newcastle from the penalty spot only for Rangers’ Josh McPake to force extra-time, setting the scene for Bailey’s dramatic winner to hand Newcastle a third title.

“We’re really happy because we’ve worked really hard over the weekend, defended really well and I think we’ve got the result we deserve,” said Bailey, who was also part of the triumphant 2018 team.

“At 2-0 down at half-time it didn’t seem like we had much chance because it’s so hard to score in these kind of games, but we got two goals, we got the job done and we’ve won it again.

“I can’t remember much about the goal, it just came back to me and I thought I’d have a go; thankfully it went in and we got the result we wanted.”

Newcastle, who also won the title in 2012, had earlier beaten Portugal’s Portimonense in the last eight and Hong Kong’s Kitchee in the semi-finals as Ben Dawson’s side posted an unbeaten record from their six games.

Rangers were forced to settle for a fourth runner-up finish having also lost in extra-time to Newcastle in 2018 despite earlier beating two-time champions Leicester City and West Ham United in the knockout stage.

“We started the game so well and missed a few chances to kill it, and losses of concentration then affected us,” said Rangers captain Cameron Palmer.

“But we’ve done so well this tournament so we’ve got to be proud of ourselves and hold our heads up high. We’re devastated but we just need to focus, not let it bring us down and look ahead to next year.”

“I feel elated! With the team being in the final twice and not winning it, it was really time to bring it home and it feels really good,” said Dundas, who was making his debut in the tournament.

“To get the two goals is a beautiful feeling. A few of the guys are crying so you know how much it means to everyone.”

Debutants Wolverhampton Wanderers, meanwhile, won the Main Shield after beating Leicester 2-1 after extra-time in the final.

And six-time champions Aston Villa won the Main Plate following a 2-0 victory over Hong Kong’s Kerry Yau Yee Select in the final.

Information and Photo Source : HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens

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