SOCCER

Momentous victory can be repeated, says former Hong Kong star Ku Kam-fai

Players must work hard and believe in themselves if they are reproduce Hong Kong's famous World Cup win over China in 1985, says local great

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 February, 2015, 10:29pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 February, 2015, 10:36am

Former Hong Kong great Ku Kam-fai has challenged the new generation of players to work harder and show more determination if they want to emulate him and his legendary giant-killing teammates.

Ku scored the winning goal for Hong Kong when they stunned China 2-1 in a World Cup qualifying match in Beijing in 1985.

No one would have expected we could return with a victory against the more powerful mainlanders on their home soil but we made it
Ku Kam-fai

The famous victory saw Hong Kong finish top of the group stage and reach the second stage of qualifiers for Mexico 86, though they were defeated by Japan in the next round.

"No one would have expected we could return with a victory against the more powerful mainlanders on their home soil but we made it," said Ku. "There is nothing impossible in soccer but you have to believe in yourself.

"But before you can achieve that, you have to prepare yourself well for the day to come and it involves a lot of sacrifices in terms of training, both physical and mental and a correct attitude in your profession."

Ku didn't want to compare his generation and the current national team, but said there is a difference in the players' attitude.

"We had gone through a lot of tough work before becoming members of the Hong Kong team and treasured the opportunity very much. We would do everything possible to achieve it as this is our profession. The attitude always makes the difference.

"Hong Kong soccer has made improvement, but the progress is very slow these days against many of our regional counterparts and that's why we can hardly imagine Hong Kong ever beating China again."

To commemorate the victory, the Hong Kong team from that match will play against a South China invitation team as the curtain raiser for the forthcoming Lunar New Year Cup featuring South China and New York Cosmos on February 19.

Cosmos are best known for their former Real Madrid star Raul who was mobbed by fans when the team arrived on Sunday.

Meanwhile, giant-killers Wong Tai Sun pulled off another surprise when they beat Eastern in the League Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw which saw the referee hand out a Premier League record 18 yellow cards and three reds (two for Eastern and one for Wong Tai Sin).

Goalkeeper Tsang Man-fai saved two Eastern spot-kicks to earn Wong Tai Sin a place in the semi-finals.