Aston Villa defeat Central Coast Mariners to win Hong Kong Soccer 7's tournament

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hong Kong FC Stadium, the location of the tournament.
Image: Celticshk.

Aston Villa Football Club of England has defeated Central Coast Mariners Football Club of Australia by a scoreline of 1–0 in the final to win the Hong Kong Soccer 7's tournament.

Mark Albrighton scored a 'wonder strike' in the seventh minute of the match, whilst on the counter-attack. Villa held out a fatiguing Mariners' side for the rest of the match to win by the only goal of the match.

The competition, hosted by Hong Kong FC at their stadium complex, is an invitation-entry tournament. It comprises a round-robin group stage followed by a knock-out finals series.

The Mariners defeated Villa 2–0 in their Group D fixture earlier in the tournament, courtesy of a double to striker Matt Simon.

Central Coast, who famously defeated English Premier League heavyweights Manchester United in their previous tournament invitation in 2005, defeated Villa, hosts Hong Kong FC and City University of Hong Kong in the group stages. They then defeated Arsenal in the quarter-finals 2–0, and Happy Valley 5–4 on penalties after scores were locked at 1–1 after extra time.

Aston Villa defeated both Urawa Red Diamonds and PSV Eindhoven in the quarter- and semi-finals, after progressing second from Group D behind the Mariners. PSV were the team that knocked Central Coast out of the 2005 Soccer 7's tournament, when they defeated the Mariners in the semi-finals.