Phoenix draw champions Leicester and Kashima Antlers at Citi Soccer Sevens tournament


It’s a mouthwatering rematch of the 2016 Soccer Sevens quarter-final as Wellington draw Leicester City, Japanese giants Kashima Antlers and HKFC Captain’s Select.

Wellington Phoenix will continue to rub shoulders with some of the biggest clubs in world football during the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens 2017, to be held in Hong Kong, May 26-28.

Drawn in Group B alongside Leicester City, current J-League champions Kashima Antlers and local side Hong Kong Football Club Captain’s Select, it sets up a high profile grudge match that pits the reigning Premier League champions against Phoenix – the team that beat them 2-1 in last year’s quarter final.

Kashima Antlers – eight-time J-League champions also come off a strong run in last year’s tournament, where they finished in the final eight, and the local HKFC Captain’s Select could prove a real handful amid hot and humid conditions.

Also participating in the tournament are German giants Bayer Leverkusen, Premier League sides Aston Villa and West Ham United, nine-times Ligue 1 champions France’s Olympique Marseilles and Serie A side Cagliari Calcio, Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers and Korea’s FC Seoul.

The HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens has been running since 1999 and includes among its previous winners Athletico Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester City. A fast-paced tournament involving seven-aside matches with short turnaround times the Citi Soccer Sevens has been used as a breeding ground for young talent, with players such as Gabby Agbonlahor among the tournament’s previous best players.