SOCCER

Clean sheet key to beating Chonburi, says South China coach Andy Cheung

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 10:36pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 10:36pm

South China coach Andy Cheung Po-chun believes he has the firepower to overcome Chonburi in Sunday's AFC Champions League qualifier, but warned that keeping a clean sheet will be vital.

South China left on Thursday for Thailand for the one-off second-round qualifier. Victory will leave them one win away from becoming the first Hong Kong team to compete in Asia's premier club tournament.

"I've looked at the video of the last time we played against them, when we lost 3-0," said Cheung. "We need to be solid in defence if we are to stand a chance of beating them at their place."

South China met Chonburi in 2011 in the AFC Cup group stages; the head-to-head score 1-1, South China winning 3-0 at home and the result reversed away.

"They are a fast, attacking side and we will have to be at the top of our game defensively. We will have to play an organised game and I know I have the players who can do that. Our target is to reach the third and final qualifying round and go to Beijing next week where we will meet Beijing Guoan," Cheung said.

The Hong Kong champions defeated Tampines Rovers, of Singapore, 2-1 in extra time last Saturday on the road and now travel to Thailand, bubbling with conviction.

"We had some worries over [Chan] Siu-ki but he has been passed fit, and with him and Andrew [Barisic] and Sasa [Kajkut] that will give me enough firepower upfront," Cheung said.