''SO, who is the guy who scored three goals against Sao Paulo?'' asked an official from the Al-Qadisiyah club when South China arrived in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in the early hours of yesterday morning (Hong Kong time). ''He's not here,'' came the reply, ''he doesn't play for South China.'' With a great sense of relief, the official hurried away to tell the welcoming party. The man they were looking for, of course, was Dale Tempest, the Eastern striker who played as a guest for South China in their 4-2 victory over the world club champions from Brazil at the Hong Kong Stadium last Tuesday - and scored a hat-trick. News travels fast these days but not, it would appear, particularly accurately. Reporting on the South China-Sao Paulo match, the Saudi newspaper Arriyadiyah said the Hong Kong side had won thanks to three goals from their new Brazilian striker, Dalo Tempesto. After Romario and Bebeto, now we have the great Tempesto. ''He was unavailable for the first leg of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup final against Al-Qadisiyah in Hong Kong but is sure to lead the South China attack in the second leg in Damman on Monday,'' said the report, under the headline ''Al-Qadisiyah get the jitters.'' Unfortunately for South China, Tempest will be nowhere in sight when the second leg of the Asian Cup Winners' Cup final kicks off in the clean and compact Al-Raka Stadium this evening (1.30 am tomorrow, Hong Kong time) in front of a sell-out crowd of 12,000. He couldn't even get a flight after the Eastern v Instant-Dict First Division game at Mongkok Stadium yesterday to commentate on the match for Star TV alongside Nick Mould. Not that the Saudis are relaxing, despite holding a 4-2 lead from the first leg in Hong Kong on March 19. Their team manager, Mohammed Ghuloom, said yesterday: ''It is not going to be easy because South China have not come here as tourists; they have come here to win. We beat them 4-2 in Hong Kong so they could beat us 4-2 in Saudi Arabia. ''We heard all about their 4-2 victory over Sao Paulo, so that has made us even more prepared.'' Ghuloom said that all the players would receive a special bonus if they completed the job - but no more than US$10,000 a man. To make sure they enjoy their expected success several times over, the Royal Box and palatial VIP suite has been fitted with 16 television screens to gloat over the action replays. The South China contingent left Hong Kong at noon on Saturday and arrived here 14 hours later after a flight which took them via Manila and Dubai. The players relaxed yesterday morning, went on a sight-seeing tour in the afternoon and trained at the stadium in the evening. The team virtually picks itself. With two first-choice defenders suspended - skipper and sweeper Ku Kam-fai and left-back Chan Wai-chiu - coach Raymond Ng wai-man has only 15 players at his disposal. These 15 include four overseas players, one more than they can use under tournament rules, and two goalkeepers. The three overseas places will be taken by goalkeeper Werner Kooistra, central defender Marcel Liesdek and striker Anto Grabo, with mainland winger Qun-li missing out. Chan Ping-on will take over as captain and sweeper from Ku, Wan Ho-yin will come in at right-back and probably Gurung Bikas at left-back. With right-winger Loh Wai-chi struggling to shake off a shoulder injury, Cheung Sai-ho is on standby to replace him. Al-Qadisiyah are likely to be unchanged from the first leg, with Brazilian playmaker Jose Carlos Garcia and striker Saleh M. Al-Qanbar the men to watch. TEAMS Al-Qadisiyah (4-4-2): Fahad H. Al-Shami; Mohamed Ahmed Al-Ashoor, Khalil I. Al-Shaikh Ahmed, Abdulla M. Al-Dossary, Ali F. Al Aamri; Arif M. Bourshaid, Shamo Quaye, Abdullah D. Al-Mahashir, Habib I. Al-Safwani; Saleh M. Al-Qanbar, Jose Carlos Garcia. South China (probable, 4-4-2): Werner Kooistra; Wan Ho-yin, Chan Ping-on, Marcel Liesdek, Gurung Bikas; Loh Wai-chi, Shum Kwok-pui, Chiu Chung-man, Au Young Ying-tsz; Anto Grabo, Au Wai-lun. Reserves: Leung Cheuk-cheung, Lee Wai-leung, Cheung Sai-ho.