Citizen playing for pride in Yangon
Hong Kong First Division side Citizen will be playing for little more than pride when they take on Yangon United in the Myanmese capital tonight in their final AFC Cup group G match.
Citizen have yet to collect a point after two away matches and are eager to make amends as their inaugural appearance in the continent's second-tier competition comes to an end. Their hopes of making it to the next round were snuffed out after their 2-1 home defeat by Singaporean side Home United two weeks ago.
With only four points from five matches, they are just two points ahead of bottom team Yangon in the group standings.
Top team Chonburi of Thailand and Home United, who meet today in the other group G match, have already qualified for the knockout stages.
'We're disappointed with our campaign,' Citizen executive director Calvin Pui Ho-wang said. 'But we are representing Hong Kong and will fight for the honour of the city.
'Hong Kong clubs have never achieved good results in Myanmar and we have the opportunity to change this record.'
Kitchee and Sing Tao have both played in Myanmar in the past but have returned home empty handed.
'This is the first time we have played in this tournament and I feel we have improved with each match we have played,' Pui said. 'However, Home United and Chonburi have more experience than us. We have to learn from this campaign and improve our standard of play.'
The Myanmese league is on a break having completed the first half of its season and Yangon coach Eric Williams, who had a brief stint as a player with Hong Kong side Po Chai Pills in 1979, is worried that his players lack match fitness.
'Our last competitive match was against Chonburi two weeks ago,' he said. 'But this is a home match and also our last match in the AFC Cup. We have to give our fans something to cheer about.'