HONGKONG received an unexpected boost in their World Cup qualifying campaign when key rivals South Korea's main striker was seconded away ahead of Saturday's vital clash between the teams. Noh Jung-yoon has been called to link up with his Hiroshima teammates for the start of Japan's new J League and will miss the Asian Group D qualifier in Beirut. Noh, one of four South Koreans in Lebanon who played in the 1990 World Cup finals in Italy, flew to Japan yesterday. The Hongkong camp is bubbling with confidence that they can take at least a point off the group favourites in their last game and top the round-robin table going into the second phase of qualifying matches in Seoul in June. With two wins and a draw Hongkong currently top the group, but South Korea will match their five-point haul if they beat India as expected tomorrow. But Hongkong manager Lam Kin-ming knows his injury-hit team go into the game against the Koreans following a four-day rest and is backing the territory to cause an upset. Lam said: ''The Koreans have a big reputation but they certainly were not very impressive against Bahrain and Lebanon. ''Unless they show a distinct improvement, I'm confident we are capable of at least holding them to a draw and with a bit of luck perhaps we can even walk off with full points. ''But of course we cannot be complacent as they are a very experienced team.'' Hongkong's biggest problem looks to be at right-back with regular Lo Kai-wah out for two games following his sending-off against Lebanon, while Yau Kin-wai has also been ruled out as the worst injured of eight on the casualty list. The obvious replacement for Lo, Yeung Kin-keung, is an inexperienced Eastern youngster who has not held down a regular place with his club side. Ernest Borel striker Au Wai-lun missed the 2-1 win over India because of a nasty knee injury. Hongkong also beat Bahrain 2-1 and drew 2-2 with hosts Lebanon.