Hong Kong will officially kick-off its EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 Preliminary Competition Round 2 campaign on Thursday afternoon against DPR Korea in Chinese Taipei. The game will hold tremendous significance to whether Hong Kong can qualify for the next round of the tournament.
Hong Kong’s preparation for the EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 qualifying campaign has been far from ideal, with the whole squad only managed to gather on Monday morning for the first time when the side took on Sun Pegasus in a warm-up game. Despite all the hurdles and distractions over the past week, Hong Kong was able to generate some much-needed positivity and came out victorious against Sun Pegasus 1:0.
DPR Korea, currently ranks 148th in the FIFA ranking, will serve as the main road block to Hong Kong’s quest of advancing to the next round. The team has come off the recent Incheon Asian Games as the runner-up and is the favourite of advancing to the next round of the EAFF East Asian Cup 2015. The side has prepared feverishly for this tournament and took part in three warm-up games over the past two months against quality Middle East sides such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Hong Kong players and coaching staffs will definitely have their hands full come Thursday match time.
Veteran full-back Lo Kwan-yee sees the glass as half-full regarding Hong Kong’s chances in the upcoming qualifying campaign. “Make no mistake about it as the first game against DPR Korea will be very important. We will not get distracted by anything and stay totally focus on that game. Hopefully, we can stay solid at the back and capitalize on our chances in the counter-attack,” explained Lo. “We did not have much time to prepare together but it is good to come out with a win in the warm-up game against Sun Pegasus. All of the players seem to have a very good understanding with one another and I hope we can make the most of our chances come match day.”
Hong Kong Head Coach Kim Pan-gon talks about the different possibilities in the Hong Kong line-up for the EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 qualifying campaign. “Chan Man-fai has played very well for Hong Kong in recent games and he could very well be our first-choice striker up-front. We also have Wong Wai available and pending on the situation, Jaimes Mckee might also see game action.” Kim offered. “At the back, I have very happy with the play of (Lee) Chi-ho, (Wisdom) Fofo and Andy (Naegelein) in the warm-up game against Sun Pegasus. They have certainly played well and I am very satisfied with their performances.”