Vietnamese side 'still pose serious threat' to Kitchee
Kitchee have warned their players against complacency when they take on Song Lam Nghe An of Vietnam in the AFC Cup at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground today.
Having won their two opening matches in group F, the Hong Kong champions are top with six points, while the visitors have just one after two matches.
'We must win the match to bolster our hopes of not only qualifying for the next stage but also finishing top of the group,' said Kitchee boss Ken Ng Kin. 'We cannot afford losing a match at home.
'We put in a great deal of effort in overcoming many unfavourable conditions for the 2-0 win over Terengganu in the last match and if we cannot keep the winning streak, our effort in Malaysia will have been totally wasted.'
Kin said the team would not be discouraged by the 2-2 league draw against rivals South China. 'Thanks to Pegasus' draw against Tuen Mun over the weekend, we still have hopes in the league championship and the players are more motivated do well in the other front against our Asian counterparts,' said Ng.
Captain Lo Kwan-yee (pictured) said they had spent a lot of time studying the opponents on video. 'They play a style similar to us, speedy in attack with a lot movement on the ground,' said Lo. 'The coach has already instilled plans on consolidating our defending and we are confident for another victory.'
In-form striker Jorge Tarres, who scored in each of the two previous AFC Cup matches, will start up front, alongside Liang Zicheng, who scored two goals against Tampines Rovers.
Kitchee received a boost as Song Lam Nghe An captain Ngyuen Huy Hoangcould not come to Hong Kong due to a visa problem. Their coach, Ngyuen Huu Thang, said they would be happy with a draw.
The visitors are the current Vietnam Super League champions and are third in the standings, unbeaten with four wins and eight draws. They lie just three points behind league leaders Ha Noi.