Hong Kong hoping for a miracle to qualify for Asian Cup
Hong Kong need a miracle to qualify for the Asian Cup on Wednesday night, but insist they haven't give up hope as they take on Vietnam.
Hong Kong must win in Hanoi and hope rivals elsewhere all lose to stand a chance of reaching the finals in Australia.
"We know the chance is small but will keep fighting till the end," said coach Kim Pan-gon. "Our target is very clear - to win the match and hopefully we can qualify as the best third-placed team from all groups."
HK would finish third in group E on seven points with a win, but teams in other groups, such as Lebanon and Iraq are better placed to finish as the best third-placed team.
Hong Kong beat Vietnam 1-0 at home when they last met, but Kim admitted they would need to work harder to produce the same result in the away match.
"Our preparation is fine considering we are in the middle of the season and it's difficult to gather the players, but Vietnam are one of the strongest teams in Southeast Asia and will definitely give us a lot of difficulties in front of their home crowd," he said.
Winger Christian Annan has joined the squad after the Kitchee player obtained his Hong Kong passport last month and he provides more attacking options up front. The defence will also be further strengthened with China Super League side Harbin allowing Wisdom Agbo to leave their preseason preparations to join up with the squad.
Midfielder Hwang Yang, winner of the 2013 Footballer of the Year, said: "It's a dream of each Hong Kong player [qualifying for the finals]. We have prepared well and the only goal is to win the match. It will bring positive power to Hong Kong society."
Hanoi has been inundated by heavy rain and fullback Lo Kwan-yee said he hoped they could adapt to the conditions.