Kenneth Kwok laughs off Hong Kong fans’ calls for him to be next coach after Interport Cup victory
- Interim boss masterminds 4-0 second leg win over Guangdong to retain Interport Cup
- Thrashing was biggest margin of victory since the tournament began in 1979
Interim Hong Kong football team coach Kenneth Kwok Ka-lok batted off supporters’ calls for him to get the job full time on Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Stadium crowd called for the Best Union Yuen Long manager to be installed as Gary White’s permanent successor as he led his young side to a remarkable Interport Cup comeback win, after losing the first leg in Guangzhou 2-1 last Sunday.
The 4-0 win was the biggest margin of victory since the tournament began in 1979.
Goals from Matthew Orr Wing-kai, Leung Nok-hang, Yuen Chun-sing and Yue Tze-nam secured a 5-2 aggregate win in a full-blooded affair in front of 4,096 fans. Orr and Guangdong goalkeeper Hou Yu were both sent off.
Great game! Hong Kong win the return leg of 41st Guangdong-HK Cup 4-0 in a passionate game, with two send offs and lots of emotions. Young HK team with very convincing performance tonight. Goals by Mathhew Orr, Leung Nok-hang, Yuen Chun-sing (pen), Yue Tze-nam #hkfootball #HKFA pic.twitter.com/HFE9OdfPN4
— Football in HK (@offsideHK) 9 January 2019
When asked by the media in the post-game press conference, Kwok claimed he thought the crowd were asking him to “sit down”.
The Hong Kong head coach job is available after White left the role to take over as manager of Japanese second tier side Tokyo Verdy in December.
White lasted just 92 days in charge of the representative team but led them to the EAFF Finals in South Korea next December.
The Interport team was meant to be led by Michael Boris but the German left his role as development director after just a week, with Kwok saying it might have been “because of the weather”.
Boris’ departure was revealed at the first training session for the Hong Kong side ahead of the 41st edition of the cross-border tournament.
Kwok took the session after being seconded from Hong Kong Premier League side Yuen Long, where he is now head coach having been in interim charge for last year’s Interport Cup.
He was also in charge of the under-23 side during the Asian Games in Indonesia in August, as the Hong Kong Football Association is yet to appoint a replacement for South Korean coach Kim Pan-gon, who left as head coach in December 2017.
Kwok was a key part of White’s set-up, and was singled out for praise by the Englishman when he left Hong Kong.
Two wins from two Interport Cups have clearly helped his case in the view of the fans, with the deadline for applications for the vacant head coach role coming up on January 11.