High-flying South China will be gunning for a victory that would see them finish top of the group when they host Maldives side VB in the AFC Cup at Hong Kong Stadium tonight. Having overcome a shaky start in which they collected just one point from the first two matches, the Caroliners are looking good for the knockout stage, thanks to a shock 1-0 win over group favourites Muang Thong United of Thailand in Phuket last week. The Hong Kong champions are now tied with the Thai side on top of group G, with both teams on 10 points after five matches. VB are just one point behind, while Persiwa of Indonesia are at the bottom after five defeats. South China will claim top spot in the group by beating VB in their final group match, regardless of the result of the other game between Muang Thong and Persiwa because of a better head-to-head record against the Thai side. The top team of the group will have home advantage in the round of 16, which will be decided by a single round of matches before going back to the home-and-away format in the quarter-finals. If South China manage just a draw against VB, they are likely to finish second in the group, and will then need to travel to the Middle East for the next stage. A defeat will blow away their qualifying hopes. 'Our target is crystal clear,' South China convenor Steven Lo Kit-sing said. 'We want to continue our winning streak and finish off the group stage with another win. 'We did not start well this year, but the players and coaching staff have to be praised for making such a comeback. We also hope more fans can come to support us, just like they did when we played at Hong Kong Stadium before.' South China achieved the best result among all teams in the group stage last year, finishing with five wins and one draw. They reached the semi-finals before losing to Kuwait Sport Club, the eventual champions, at a packed Hong Kong Stadium, which was also the biggest crowd for an AFC Cup match last year. But the Caroliners are not without worries against VB as they will be missing three key players who received their second yellow cards of the tournament against Muang Thong. Defender Chan Wai-ho and forwards Kwok Kin-pong and Tales Schutz are all suspended. Coupled with the absence of injured marksman Chan Siu-ki, South China will need to be at their best if they want to achieve their target. Knowing a draw will not help, VB will also be going all out for victory after defeating South China 1-0 at home last month.