HK squad face tough competition

Hong Kong are set to face a stern test in the finals of the AFC Futsal Championships, which start in Uzbekistan on Sunday.

Drawn alongside Japan, Tajikistan and Iraq in group B, Hong Kong need to play at their best if they are to qualify for the semi-finals. Top teams in the other three groups include China, Australia and Iran.

'Japan are the toughest team and we lost to them by a big margin in an invitation event in Macau earlier,' said coach Tsang Wai-chung, who left with the 14-member squad last night. 'Iraq are also a team with quality while Tajikistan are the only unknown quantity. With only the top team going through to the next stage, it promises to be a tough task for us.'

Players from First Division sides Buler Rangers and Kitchee dominated the squad, fielding six and five players respectively, including Hong Kong internationals Szeto Man-chun and Liu Quankun. Goalkeeper Lai Pak-yung is the only player from local district league side Kwun Tong.Chan Kin-wa