The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) has promised a full house for this month's exhibition match featuring English club giants Liverpool - despite slower than expected sales. Many fans believed that all 17,000 tickets for the match would be sold out within hours - as occurred for a Manchester United exhibition match here in 1997. Such expectations prompted 2,000 people to queue at Hong Kong Stadium before the tickets went on sale on Saturday, with some camping out from Thursday to guarantee their place in the line. But as the second day of sales drew to a close yesterday, there were still 3,000 tickets available. However, the HKFA says it is still optimistic about attendance for the match between Liverpool and Hong Kong at the stadium on July 27. The association's general secretary, Martin Lam Chun-ying, said: 'We've already sold around 80 per cent of the tickets and with three weeks to go before the match, we're confident that there will be a full house.' He added it would not be fair to compare sales of the upcoming match with the one in 1997. 'There were just 7,000 tickets available to the public when Manchester United came,' said Mr Lam. 'We're actually not surprised about the slower sales this time because we thought it'd take three days to sell all 17,000 tickets.' Those who spent days queuing also believed their efforts were not wasted. 'We may have been able to get the tickets without queuing for so long, but then we wouldn't have got the good seats,' said Form Five student Erica Lee, 18. She and her friends were among the first in line when sales opened on Saturday and had begun queuing last Thursday. About 12,000 tickets were sold on Saturday and 2,000 yesterday. It is not the first time that ticket sales have been slow for an exhibition match featuring popular foreign sides. In May 1996, only 25,344 people turned up at stadium - which seats 40,000 people - for the match between the England national team and Hong Kong's Golden Selection XI. Liverpool is among the most popular football teams in Hong Kong. Fans Kiki Hon Pui-wai and Bread Tsang Pui-ying, who joined the queue at 10.30am on Thursday, were glad to get good tickets. 'I really love Liverpool, especially Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard. Liverpool came to Hong Kong 20 years ago, before I was born. So I am absolutely thrilled to have this golden opportunity this time round,' said Ms Tsang. 'My family does not think that I am crazy to queue up for things like this because my friends and I are doing the same, and we are sharing it by taking turns and looking after each other. 'I started watching football matches about five years ago when I was in Form 1. At that time, the World Cup was on, and I watched quite a bit of it. And after that I just got addicted. 'Though I am a girl, I love football. I don't think it is strange as a lot of girls today also love football.'