Chance for Kitchee to cement credentials
Victory over Tuen Mun tonight would allow Kitchee to place one hand on the all-important BMA First Division title and cement their position as the number one team in town in recent times.
The importance of the encounter at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground was evident when Kitchee rested eight of their regulars, including skipper Chu Siu-kei and top striker Jorge Tarres, for last Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final against South China. They are all back for tonight's match.
'We will be back at full strength against Tuen Mun and victory is crucial,' said Ken Ng Kin, president of Kitchee. 'We have always maintained that our main goal this season is to win the league title as this would guarantee us a place in the AFC Cup next season.'
Kitchee coach Josep Gombau has been forced into a juggling act in the past few weeks, with the club involved in the continental AFC Cup, the domestic FA Cup as well as defending their league title. And happily for Kitchee fans, he has seen success, with the team securing a last-16 place in the AFC Cup, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals, and one step away from retaining the league crown.
'If we defeat Tuen Mun we are one step closer to the league title. There is a hunger in this team and I'm quietly confident we can do it,' said Ng.
Kitchee lead closest contenders TSW Pegasus by one point in the standings. The league will be decided if Kitchee defeat Tuen Mun and Pegasus lose to Wofoo Tai Po on Saturday. Both teams have two games left this season.
Tuen Mun will miss skipper Mirko Teodorovic, who has been suspended for one game after picking up five yellow cards in the past few games.
'We will miss him but I'm confident we can give Kitchee a hard time, and hopefully at least draw the game,' coach Yan Lik-kin said.