The equation is simple for Hong Kong. Win away in North Korea, aka DPR Korea, and Hong Kong will progress to the finals of the Asian Cup for the first time since 1968. The hosts have an easier task of simply holding onto a draw for a point to progress, though will also not rest on their laurels. Whatever the outcome of this game, the winner will join established teams like Japan, South Korea, and China the finals of the Asian Cup in 2019. Eastern’s Jaimes McKee has been part of the Hong Kong squad for a long time and believes this team has the confidence and ability to achieve a famous away win against DPR Korea in Pyongyang.
McKee first reflected on Hong Kong’s chances of pulling off a major upset against a strong DPR Korea team.
“I think football is unpredictable and anything can happen. On paper, playing them away is going to be tough, but we will go there with the attitude that if we’re organised and stop them scoring, there is every possibility we can score on either the counter-attack or a set piece against DPR Korea”
Hong Kong’s draw against DPR Korea in their last match was a good indication that Hong Kong have improved and are more aware of their opponent’s tactics and playing style. McKee stressed that Hong Kong now have the confidence to take on the Korean team and take all three points.
“I think that result has definitely given us confidence that we can compete against them. In the last two games, we’ve made it difficult for them to score. Now we just need that little bit extra to get a goal or two, to get the win that we need to qualify.”
It all comes down to one match and hopefully long-suffering Hong Kong fans will finally have something to cheer about on the international stage.