Kitchee Travels to Vietnam for AFC Champions Leagu

Running on a packed football schedule, Kitchee left Hong Kong on Sunday and headed to Hanoi, Vietnam, to get ready for the highly-anticipated AFC Champions League 2016 Preliminary Stage 2 against Vietnamese side Hanoi T&T on Tuesday. As the reigning Hong Kong Premier League champion, Kitchee will start the AFC Champions League 2016 campaign from preliminary stage 2. The Hong Kong side actually participated in last year’s preliminary stage as well, unfortunately falling short against Thai Premier League side Chonburi 1:4 in Thailand and failing to advance to the next round. With last season’s valuable experience firmly planted in their minds, Kitchee players should be better-equipped this time around against Vietnamese side Hanoi T&T. It will certainly be interesting to see whether Kitchee players can go one step further in the new campaign and come out with a positive result under challenging away conditions. Midfield lynchpin Huang Yang maintains Kitchee has a firm understanding on the playing style of Vietnamese teams and that should enable his side to perform well against Hanoi T&T on Tuesday. “As a club, Kitchee has lofty goals and that include doing well in the AFC Champions League,” Huang stated. “With last year’s Champions League experience firmly with us, we now understand every side that we face in the competition will be a tough opponent. Therefore defense and our ability to capitalize on scoring chances will be crucial to the eventual result. Hopefully, we can maintain a clean sheet in the first half, then strike them on the counter-attack in the second half.” Defender Fernando Recio indicates everyone within the club is excited about the opportunity to once again test themselves in the AFC Champions League. “In the football world, every year is different and nothing stays the same. However, we picked up valuable experiences from last year’s AFC Champions League preliminary stage and we know teams will work fast on the pitch and we need to stay switched-on at all times,” said the Spanish stopper. “I really believe with our experience from last year, we can go one step further and have a better performance on match day.”