On 9 July 2012, chairman Steven Lo published his first blog articles for the new season. He published the new first team squad and the in-and-out player changes. He also appointed Liu Chun Fai as the new head coach, and allowed former assistant coaches Chan Chi Hong and Chan Ho Yin to leave the club. The team also started having training on the same day. However, public media are not allowed to go into the training court.
South China started having public training on 17 July 2012. Chairman Steven Lo announced that the team would go to Guangdong for training camp. The team started the training camp on 23 July 2012. However, there are no news about the team in training camp and the players did not say anything on the social networking website, until the team published a photo, showing the players watching a football match in Guangdong. Soon after, chairman Steven Lo wrote an article on his blog about the training camp. The team will play total of 6 matches with Guangdong Sunray Cave, which Hong Kong and former South China players Leung Chun Pong and Chan Siu Ki is playing in, during the training camp. By the day that Steven Lo published the blog article, the team had a great result as they won 3 matches and tied once.
While the team was having training camp in mainland China, chairman Steven Lo introduced a new player. defenderSean Tse joined the club from English Premier League club Manchester City for an undisclosed fee. Since he is holding a Hong Kong ID card, he will not be registered and counted as a foreign player.
They went back to their home against Citizen on 19 September 2012. Lee Chi Ho scored his second goal of the season but Festus Baise equalised 7 minutes later. Winning goal from Itaparica helped the team to win over 2–1. As they start playing the Senior Challenge Shield from the quarterfinals, they had a free weekend, having more time to prepare for the big match against Kitchee a week later at home. Having won the First Division League in the past 2 seasons, Kitchee had achieved a great result against South China in recent years. Both team struggled to make goalscoring chances in the first half, but the second half was totally a different game. Jonathan Carril's 6-yard strike should have opened the deadlock for Kitchee but his shot hit the bar. Dhiego de Souza Martins scored the winning goal for South China in the stoppage time, thanked a lovely cross from Jack Sealy. This goal also helped the team to climb at the top of the league table.
Back to the league after international match period, South China welcomed Southern, which was at the bottom of the league table before the match, at home. Southern had gained 2 points in last two matches, after going behind in both matches. Although South China dominated the possession and the attacks, they could not manage to score a goal due to the solid defence of Southern. The club dropped two points and dropped a place to second in the table.
South China ended October at the second place of the league table.
South China faced rivalry club Kitchee in the Senior Challenge Shield at Hong Kong Stadium on 17 November. Midfielder Itaparica's late goal helped the team record an important victory, with Kitchee's defender Liu Quankun was sent off in the stoppage time of the second half. They soon played against each other again one week later on 25 November at Kitchee's home ground Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground. South China successfully kept a clean sheet and eliminated their rival by 1–0 in aggregate, reaching the semi-finals stage of the shield.
South China started the new month with a Senior Shield semi-finals 1st leg match against 2011 champions Citizen at home Hong Kong Stadium on 15 December 2013. They suffered their first defeat of the season as they lost 2–3 to Citizen. Mauro's goal in the first half help them take the lead into changing room. However, Man Pei Tak was sent off on the 67th minute and Citizen's Campion, Paulinho and Festus scored three goals in 11 minutes. Lee Wai Lim scored a goal in the stoppage time, making a narrower lead for them.
South China travelled to Mong Kok Stadium and faced Citizen for the Senior Shield semi-finals 2nd leg, their first game in 2013. Although taking the advantage throughout the game, they failed to score and was eliminated by Citizen in aggregate.
Back into the league, South China faced Wofoo Tai Po at Hong Kong Stadium on 18 January. More or less the same as last week, they defeated Wofoo Tai Po 5–1, securing themselves in the first place of the league table. A week later on 26 January, they overcame Biu Chun Rangers from 1 goals down and scored 6 goals later.
South China started a new month and hosted a league match against Sun Pegasus at Hong Kong Stadium on 2 February. Jaimes McKee converted a penalty kick on the 10th minute and leading South China for almost all the game. A controversial goal from Dhiego Martins in the stoppage time help South China avoid losing all three points.
9 August 2012: defenderSean Tse joins South China for an undisclosed fee from Manchester City. He will not be counted as a foreign player as he is holding the Hong Kong ID card and thus is a Hong Kong citizen.
20 January 2013: IrishforwardAdam Tse joins South China for an undisclosed fee. Similar to his brother Sean Tse, since he is holding the Hong Kong ID card, he will not be counted as a foreign player and thus is a Hong Kong citizen.
Last updated: 4 May 2013
Source: Competitive match reports.
Competitive matches only
Matches started as captain only Country: FIFA nationality; No.: Squad number; P: Position; Name: Player name; No. Games: Number of games started as captain.
Updated to games played on 26 May 2013.
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) head-to-head points; 3) head-to-head goal difference; 4) head-to-head goals scored; 5) goal difference; 6) number of goals scored 1Southern qualified for the play-offs as Kitchee defeated Sun Pegasus in the FA Cup while they have guaranteed a place for the play-offs, meaning the league 4th place qualifies. (C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished: (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Head-to-Head: used when head-to-head record is used to rank tied teams.