Rob Edwards and his players were delighted to mark their HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens debut by topping the group and progressing into the knockout stages.
Wolves defeated HKFA Red Dragons and Hong Kong FC, as well as drawing with Rangers, to qualify and defeated the Scottish club in sudden death to claim top spot. In warm conditions, Wolves showed the character and quality which saw them win the Premier League 2 Division 2, and the same group are now in with a chance of more success in Hong Kong on Sunday.
On a successful group phase
“We’re pleased. The lads have put a good shift in. It’s been quite a long day, they’ve been sat around a lot in the morning, watching a lot of the football and then in the second half of the day we had to get going.
“The heat really warms up in the afternoon, it was nice playing in the evening, that was probably the best time of day, but by then we’d already played a few games. The lads cooled down and went again, so we’ve learnt quite a lot.”
On sudden death
“We put Ed Francis in goal because we thought if we lost possession and went back, we’ve got an outfield player who can bring the ball and we’d hopefully have a four versus three. They did the same and it’s probably something that is done quite a lot.
“What Niall (Ennis) did well was he won it, he was strong and showed some really good skill, he was able to take a couple of their players out of the game. ‘Gilo’ did really well by going in behind them, Niall found him with a good pass and ‘Gilo’ finished with a good touch and finish.”
On his sudden death winner
“I’m very happy, obviously. It was tough, four versus four, we knew it was going to be hard. Winning the ball was vital straight away. Niall did brilliant to get his body in the way, send the guy, and it was pretty hard for me to miss, it was straight on a plate for me.
“It was completely different for us and if you don’t win that first ball you’re automatically defending, but if you win it the rewards are there and we’ve done it tonight.”
On topping the group
“It’s brilliant, we’ve come out here not knowing what was in store for us, but we recognised straight away the humidity and weather was roasting. We’ve dealt with it well and game-by-game have gradually realised we can control games better and we’re excited for Sunday - we’ll see what happens.”
On Wolves’ winning start against Red Dragons
“It was good to be on the pitch. We have to get used to the conditions, it’s much warmer than England. It was good to play the first game and get the three points. It’s always the first game that’s the hardest, so it was good to get the three points.”
On his penalty save
“It was good to save a penalty, because it was my mistake, and it made sure we got the three points. I had an idea, I could actually read him, where he wanted to go, so it was good to guess right.”
On a tough Rangers battle
“I think it was a really good game, both sides were at it and there was a lot of chances. With the ball, I think we controlled the play and stretched the game. There were a few times we went on the attack and had a shot, but the referee gave it as their ball and we switched off a bit, and they’ve gone on the counter, but, other than that, we were outstanding throughout the game.”
On his goal line clearance
“It’s a great feeling, being a defender and keeping a clean sheet as well. Everyone comes over and says: ‘well done’, so it was a great feeling with it being 0-0.”