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AFC Champions League

Fans divided on how Kitchee can deliver on owner’s promise of besting Eastern in debut Champions League

Creditable 1-0 loss to Kashiwa Reysol hints first point could be possible but games are running out

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2018, 11:00pm

The AFC Champions League group table doesn’t lie and Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee sit dead last of group E.

The numbers do not make good reading, either. Played 3. Lost 3. Scored 0. Conceded 10.

It’s not looking good for Kitchee owner Ken Ng Kin’s grand proclamation upon pipping bitter rivals Eastern to the league title last season – “We will approach the Champions League with a new attitude to go for a better result for Hong Kong.”

It won’t take much to better Eastern’s record in 2017 – Played six. Won none. Drew one. Lost five. Scored one. Conceded 24.

Can Kitchee do it?

After losing only 1-0 to Kashiwa Reysol in Japan on match day three there is hope and next up is the return game against the J-League side at Hong Kong Stadium.

Fans were positive about the performance but divided on how best to proceed on the Kitchee Facebook page.

Ronald Cheung wrote that “Kitchee have to play defensively with quick counter attack so that they can get points on the Asian arena”. Adding that they “lacked luck” in Japan.

Alec Cham wrote that the team “showed marked improvement” but thinks that there is only one way to get off the mark: “Next match, park the bus. Hope to secure one point!”

Andy Pang wants to flip the current game plan on its head: “Diego Forlan should start on 70 minutes, the result would be better”.

Time is running out for Kitchee to make good on the owner’s promise.

If they are to get anything it has to be against the Japanese or when Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian come to Mong Kok Stadium on April 4.

One thing is for sure. A historic result is not going to happen in the last game against Jeonbuk as the K-League champs proved by demolishing Tianjin 6-3. Although that did make Kitchee’s 0-6 loss look a little better.

It remains to be seen how many will be there to cheer Kitchee on. Could more than the 13,500 who saw them lose to Jeonbuk turn up to Hong Kong Stadium next Wednesday to see if Kitchee can get their first point? That probably depends if they can get tickets.