Hong Kong to go on the attack against Uzbekistan in Asian Cup qualifier
The team have the poorest scoring record in all five groups, with just one goal
Hong Kong will have to fire on all cylinders when they play host to Uzbekistan in a crucial Asian Cup qualifying match on Tuesday.
With just four points from four games in group E, they must win tonight at Hong Kong Stadium to keep alive their hopes of the reaching the 2015 finals in Australia.
However, the team have the poorest scoring record in all five groups, with just one goal so far, while even Vietnam, who sit at the bottom of the same group, have bagged two goals.
Coach Kim Pan-gon (pictured) admitted they would find it tough tonight against a team who feature two-time Asian Footballer of the Year Server Djeparov, who now plays for K-League side Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma.
"There is no place to hide now as we must try to get three points," Kim said. "It is always difficult to score against stronger teams, but there must be some way to find goals.
"Against Uzbekistan, we cannot only rely on the counter-attack. We have to build up combination play, so that we can score. If we don't try, we will always be on the back foot."
Kim said he would make some changes to the team who were beaten 4-0 by the United Arab Emirates last week, with more attacking players to be included in the side.
The Kitchee duo of Chan Man-fai and Lam Ka-wai, who both sat on the bench against UAE, are likely to start tonight, while speedy striker Jaimes McKee, who only played in the second half of the UAE match, may be preferred to Godfred Karikari. Karikari has a thigh injury and did not join the rest of the squad during yesterday's practice session.
Goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai admitted the team would find it tough playing two matches in five days. "It is very demanding on our fitness requirements," said Yapp. "The players are a bit tired after getting back to Hong Kong, but we knew this would be the case and the coach and our support staff have put in a good recovery programme.
"Though we lost the last two matches, we know the importance of the match against Uzbekistan. We've done well as underdogs before and can do so again against Uzbekistan."