Outgoing Hong Kong team coach Kenny Lai Sun-cheung has called for a local candidate to replace him. There had been speculation that the Hong Kong Football Association planned to secure an overseas coach for the job, prompting Lai to announce he was quitting the post. 'We should promote some young coaches to fill the Hong Kong team job,' said Lai yesterday. 'This is in the best interest of Hong Kong football in the long run. We have had many overseas coaches here before, but the results were hardly spectacular despite spending huge amounts of money. Now we have some very good up-and-coming coaches who have all played for Hong Kong at international level. They should be given the opportunity and priority as they are familiar with the local scene and their hearts are in Hong Kong football.' Lai suggested Xiangxue Sun Hei's Lee Kin-wo, who is coaching the youth team, Law Kai-wah, now an assistant coach at Happy Valley, and Kitchee's Tam Siu-wai as possible candidates. 'I wouldn't mind if I were asked to oversee these young coaches to groom them as the next Hong Kong team coach, but it's up to the Hong Kong Football Association to make the decision,' Lai said. Lai, who has been in charge of the Hong Kong team for five years, said that after his final match - against Bangladesh in the Asian Cup qualifiers in November - he would continue to work with the junior squads. 'There is no big secret about my decision. I think this is the right time to go and let the young coaches have the opportunity,' he added. There was no joy for Lai on the pitch yesterday, as his Hong Kong 08 side lost 2-1 to Hong Kong Football Club at Hong Kong Stadium to remain rooted to the bottom of the First Division table. Goals from Lawrence Akandu and Jaimes Mckee gave Club their first victory of the season. Au Yeung Yiu-chung scored for HK08. At the other end of the table, Kitchee continued to set the pace by grabbing a narrow 3-2 win over Rangers. It was Kitchee's fifth consecutive win but their coach, Ken Ng, is still cautious about their ability to stay the course. 'This is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go before we can capture the league title,' said Ng. 'We were a bit lucky today as Rangers' youngsters had an excellent match, pressing us hard and did not allow us to play our passing game.' Rangers' performance was a big improvement from their last match when they were held by Football Club. They should have opened the scoring but forwards Godfred Karikari and Dragutin Stevic-Rankovic couldn't convert good chances in the early stages. Kitchee took the lead in the 35th minute through Kwok Yue-hung, who replaced the suspended Julius Akosah. Karikari made amends for his earlier miss by levelling the scores in the 41st minute after a neat movement with Fan Weijun on the left but Rangers' jubilation was short-lived as Wilfed Bamnjo put Kitchee back in the lead before half-time, heading home a Kwok cross. Rangers pressed hard for an equaliser and it was the always-dangerous Karikari who popped up to score his second in the 62nd minute. However, their hopes of forcing a draw or even snatching an unexpected win were dashed when Gao Wen's 80th-minute free-kick rebounded nicely for Darko Rakocevic to slot home.