|Wofoo Tai Po and Kitchee prepare for crucial midweek, away matches in AFC Cup 2019 Group I
Wofoo Tai Po and Kitchee will gear up for crucial away fixtures in Match Day 4 of the AFC Cup 2019, as the former will take on 4.25 SC (PRK) in Pyongyang on Wednesday afternoon, while the latter will meet up against Hang Yuan FC (TPE) in Chinese Taipei on Wednesday evening.
Newly crowned Hong Kong Premier League champion Wofoo Tai Po will be seeking for redemption in the match against 4.25 SC from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as the New Territories side dropped a 1:3 decision against its Korean counterparts last week.
Occupying the second spot in Group I at the time of writing, Wofoo Tai Po will hope to claim all three points against 4.25 SC, as a win can get the two sides back on level points in the group standing. However, attacking sensation Igor Sartori picked up his second yellow card of the group stage in the previous AFC Cup fixture and will likely have to serve his suspension on Wednesday, severely hampering Wofoo Tai Po’s firepower.
Wofoo Tai Po head coach Lee Chi-kin believes nailing down the premier league title recently will help his side to better channel its focus onto the AFC Cup competition.
“Despite losing against 4.25 SC at home, I believe our team will be much more focused entering this game,” Lee said.
“A while ago, we were still going back-and-forth between the AFC Cup and our domestic league. However, the dust has now settled from a domestic standpoint and we can now devote our sole attention towards the AFC Cup. We might have lost the home fixture against 4.25 SC but we still have this away game ahead of us for us to seek redemption. Let us see what we can get out of this.”
Kitchee took on Chinese Taipei-side Hang Yuan FC a fortnight ago in AFC Cup 2019 Group I and finally opened its winning account in this year’s competition. The victory gave Kitchee three much-needed points and the Hong Kong powerhouse will continue to build on its momentum, hoping to earn another victory despite playing away from home. As a matter of fact, with only three points on hand, Kitchee will need to gather as many points as quickly as possible in order to keep its qualification-hopes alive.
Kitchee midfielder Huang Yang reveals the team might be short on manpower for the away fixture against Hang Yuan FC but insists the team will be aiming for three points nevertheless.
“As professionals, we fully understand the team’s predicament at the moment and what is the best for the team and for ourselves,” Hang said ahead of Wednesday’s game.
“While the FIFA ranking might tell you something else, I do believe Hong Kong football is a higher standard than Chinese Taipei, therefore coming up against Hang Yuan FC is pretty much a must-win fixture for us. Even if we cannot come up with a win, we must not lose the game and this is a basic requirement.”