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Leicester City advance as champions Newcastle United squeeze through

HONG KONG, 27 May 2023 – Title holders Newcastle United squeezed into the knockout rounds of the 2023 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens on Saturday as Leicester City won the battle between the tournament’s previous champions to advance to the quarter-finals as winners of Group C.

Leicester, who claimed the trophy in 2013 and 2017, notched up a 2-1 victory over Newcastle to maintain their unbeaten start to the competition after a 0-0 draw with Hong Kong Football Club Captain’s Select was followed by a 3-0 win over Hong Kong Football Club.

Newcastle finished second in the group with four points, pipping Hong Kong Football Club to second by virtue of a better goal difference to set up a meeting with Group A winners, Aston Villa, in the next round. Leicester will take on Tai Po in Sunday’s quarter-finals.

“Winning the group was really important because whoever finished second is going to have a tough opponent tomorrow,” said Leicester City’s Harvey Godsmark-Ford. “It’s been a bit tough with the weather but we’re buzzing.

“That was the perfect way to go through. Everyone’s happy going into the next stage of the tournament. We’ll get in the pool after this game, have a massage, keep hydrated and get an early night to be ready for tomorrow.”

Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee clinched top spot in Group B and will play Group D runners-up Queens Park Rangers in the next round as Alex Chu’s team earned a 1-1 draw with Fulham to secure first place on goal difference.

“The weather has obviously played a part in the game but we were just not clinical enough for my liking,” Fulham captain Terry Ablade said. “We’ve got a good team and we know we can go far but when we get our chances we need to take them.

“We’re looking to win every game so we can go all the way to the final and then we’ll look to win that as well.”

Brighton & Hove Albion advanced as winners of Group D with two wins and a draw to finish two points clear of second-placed QPR and set up their quarter-final meeting with Fulham.

Tai Po notched up a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in their first match before the Premier League side recovered to win Group A while Tai Po sealed a berth in the quarter-finals by holding Scottish side Rangers to a 0-0 draw in the final game of the evening.

In the Masters Tournament, former champions Citi All Stars were eliminated, losing out on a place in the next round as Hong Kong Football Club Masters and Rio Cricket Association Athletic took the top two spots in Group B to advance to the next phase.

Title holders Wallsend Boys Club, meanwhile, won against Hong Kong Football Club Chairman’s Select and Singapore Cricket Club Masters to top Group A and progress to the next round alongside Ampcontrol Discovery Bay.

Wallsend will take on Rio Cricket Association Athletic in Sunday’s semi-finals while Hong Kong Football Club Masters meet Ampcontrol Discovery Bay.

The HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens is returning from a three-year COVID-19 enforced hiatus and underprivileged children from the Chicken Soup and Sprouts Foundations have been hosted by the Hong Kong Football Club at this weekend’s event.

“These kids live in Tai Wai and only know about Tai Wai, so today we are taking them out to experience something outside of that,” said Sprouts’ Kobe Ko.

“They don’t have many opportunities to get out and experience different things, but the world is so big, and there are so many different options for their future that they don’t know about – for example, football player, coach, referee.

“They’ve never seen this, so we want to provide them with exposure to other opportunities other than what they know and see day to day.”

Tickets for the final day of the event are available at zicket.co, with free entry for children under 16 years old and admission for adults costing HKD$120.

HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens Main Event Quarter-finals

Aston Villa v Newcastle United

Kitchee v Queens Park Rangers

Leicester City v Tai Po

Brighton & Hove Albion v Fulham

HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens Masters Tournament Semi-finals

Wallsend Boys Club v Rio Cricket Association Athletic

Hong Kong Football Club Masters v Ampcontrol Discovery Bay


Information and Photo source : HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens

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