When Coach Kim Pan-gon sends out his Hong Kong trusts counter to Singapore in an international friendly at MongKok Stadium, he will be seeking for an energetic performance to fill the local game with some aggression and positive energy.
In Hong Kong football touched a low tide with two disgusting incidents last week – the revelation that the afresh opened Kitchee Centre is set to be shut down by the government for housing developments and five Pegasus players, including anex-Hong Kong player of the Year, being detained over an suspected match-fixing indignity.
“There is no doubt the two incidents hit the sport hard,” said Kim, who is formulating his squad for coming month’s EAFF East Asian Cup qualifiers which toostructures Guam, Taiwan, and North Korea.
“There have been many negative reports around and we have to get rid of them. The best way to do this is to bring back the confidence of Hong Kong people through the performance of the team.
“Whenever the Hong Kong team do well on the international stage, it is a big boost of the sport, just like what happened last year when we enjoyed great success in the World Cup qualifiers. We want to change it from negative to positive.”
Hong Kong are seeking to spread a recent run of form succeeding back-to-back friendly victories over Cambodia, even though Kim may make some alterations because of the last week’s 2-0 success in Phnom Penh with winger Lee Hong-lim fixed to begin at leftback and midfielder Lam Ka-wai in a additional progressive forward position.
“I need to try more players in different roles as it will be very demanding at the East Asian Cup where we will have to play three matches in seven days,” said Kim.
Singapore is 13 places behind Hong Kong with the 155th place in the ranking of Fifa and yet they have been defeated just once by the team of Lion City over the past ten years that includes a 2-1 win at the homeground in 2014 friendly match.