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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Latest News

Where to watch Qatar vs HK?

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While there might be several public screenings around town, we recommend to join the offside.hk team at PolyU in Hung Hom, where some of the main fan groups will gather around 23:30 on Thursday, March 24th. Kick Off will be at midnight! (Bring your own drinks.) Alternatively, you can watch the match from your couch, as it will be broadcast live by TVB Jade.

Venue: Polytechnic University, Hung Hom (public square in front of the Shaw Amenities Building, also called “VA” core), 5 min. walk from Hung Hom MTR Station (Exit A or D).

HK Team News

Dare to dream? Hong Kong’s Chances

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Die for Hong Kong - Ryan Kam

The upcoming World Cup Qualifier game against Qatar on March 24th will be the end of what will surely be remembered as a hugely successful campaign. Against all odds, the Hong Kong Representative Team has not only held China to two goalless draws, but also earned the respect and euphoria of the city across all generations. But all this glorification aside, what will be the final outcome in their World Cup qualifying journey? Can Hong Kong at least still dream about participating in Russia? Offside.hk looked at all the numbers and laid down the possible scenarios.

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HK Team Photos

“We Are Hong Kong” – World Cup Qualifying Memories

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Celebrating the Second Goal against Maldives -  JRP Borthwick

On March 24th 2016, the Hong Kong national team will play their final group game away in Doha, Qatar. Their hosts have already qualified for the next stage and depending on how the game pans out then Hong Kong’s tumultuous and historical run will either end in respect and kudos or continue onto uncharted territory beyond the expectations of all who have observed the national team for the past few years. Interest in the team has reached levels never seen before and tickets for a game have been the hottest thing in town.

Hong Kong’s home games have all been held in the ‘cauldron’ of MongKok Stadium with a frenzied wall of noise urging the home team forward. Regardless if they win, draw or lose away in Qatar, Hong Kong sports fans may never experience evenings quite like these ever again.

Offside.hk and their team of photographers have captured these magical moments and the highlights are as below.

Qatar Versus Hong Kong will be broadcast by free-to-air TV station TVB. Kick Off: Thursday, March 24th  (Midnight – Friday Morning), 

Photos by William Wong, JRP Borthwick, Christopher KL Lau, Ryan Kam.  Originals are available upon request. 

HK Team News

Hong Kong vs Qatar: Final squad

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Coach Kim Pan Gon has announced the final squad for the last World Cup qualifier game next week against Qatar on March 24th.

Facing difficulties with the current defensive line (Jean-Jaques Kilama has been suspended due to accumulating too many yellow card and Chan Wai Ho is still injured), Kim has called up two newcomers – Andy Russell (South China) and Roberto Affonso Jr. (Eastern), who both ply their trade as centre-backs. Helio (Kitchee) and Itaparica (Xinjiang Tianshan) may also still have a chance for their debut for the representative team.

Aside from this new player pool, the biggest change to 2015 is the club affiliation. After their respectable performances against China, many team players were offered contracts in the Chinese leagues, especially the second tier (中甲) where  Lee Chi Ho (Meizhou Kejia), Godfred Karikari (Qingdao Huangniu), Festus Baise (Guizhou Zhicheng), Jean-Jacques Kilama (Tianjin Quanjian), Paulinho (Shenzhen FC) and Itaparica (Xinjiang Tianshan) can now be found. Our only man in the Chinese Super League is currently Jack Sealy, who has already appeared in the first game for Changchun Yatai this season with a solid performance at right back.

Somewhat surprisingly, a few players have not been considered by Kim this time around. Au Yeung Yiu Chung has just returned to Asia from his Portuguese excursion, and aims to get into the starting XI of Guizhou Zhizheng. Youngster Brian Fok (Shanghai Shenhua) has been offered a loan contract in the second tier of the Romanian league, where he should get valuable playing time. Many fans are also still wondering why James Ha hasn’t been nominated this time around, as he has been by far the most successful local striker in this Hong Kong Premier League season.

Although Kim and the HKFA might face criticism in that almost 50% of their players are not ethnically Chinese, this has become a rather old and worn out argument. It should not be forgotten that the likes of McKee, Sealy, Naegelein, and Russell have grown up in Hong Kong, and the other naturalized players have by far exceeded the minimum FIFA requirement to obtain another citizenship (which would be 5 years), as they had to stick with the normal 7 year requirement of the Hong Kong immigration laws.

The team will leave for Qatar on Monday night. Once again, they have been promised a financial reward, which worked well for the goalless draws against China. A generous donor will pay HK$400,000 for a victory and HK$300,000 for a tie in Doha.

The full 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Yapp Hung Fai (Eastern), Wang Zhenpeng (Kitchee), Tse Tak Him (Kwoon Chung Southern)

Defenders: Jack Sealy (Changchun Yatai), Roberto Affonso Jr. (Eastern), Festus Baise (Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng), Helio (Kitchee),  Lee Chi Ho (Meizhou Kejia), Cheung Kin Fung, Andy Russell (South China)

Midfielders: Bai He, Andy Naegelein (Eastern), Huang Yang,  Lam Ka Wai, Lo Kwan Yee (Kitchee), Leung Chun Pong (South China), Itaparica (Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard)

Forwards: Xu Deshuai (Eastern), Jaimes McKee (HK Pegasus), Alex Akande, Sandro (Kitchee),  Godfred Karikari (Qingdao Huanghai), Paulinho (Shenzhen FC)

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