Kitchee Kicks-off AFC Cup Group Stage Hungry for S

Kitchee will kick-off its AFC Cup 2016 adventure on Tuesday evening by hosting fellow Group F side Kaya FC. The match will take place in Mongkok Stadium and kick-off time will be 8:00pm. Despite crashing out of the AFC Champions League 2016 qualifying round earlier, Kitchee should find things easier to handle in the familiar surroundings of the AFC Cup. The Blues are grouped in Group F together with Kaya FC (Philippines), Balestier Khalsa (Singapore) and New Radiant (Maldives). In fairness, Kitchee should stand a more-than-decent chance of advancing from the group but with a largely inconsistent domestic campaign, the Hong Kong representative can ill-afford to take anything lightly, especially since Kaya FC reigns as the UFL Cup champion of Philippines and should be given the full respect that it is due. Midfielder Lam Ka-wai points out that the first group game will have a huge influence on Kitchee’s fate in the tournament and the squad definitely needs to be on its toes. “AFC Cup experience is vital to achieving good results in the tournament. In that regard, we should have a slight advantage over Kaya FC. As usual, we will need to pick up our first win in the first game, avoid taking the opponent lightly and stay highly focused throughout the competition,” explained the Kitchee maestro. Striker Jorge Tarres hopes his side can repay the supporters’ faith with some solid performances and victories in the AFC Cup. “The first game in the AFC Cup group stage is usually one of the toughest games, as it can have a great effect on the remainder of the group stage. We have not done very well this season but now that we are back in the AFC Cup group stage, everything is back to square one and we will go all out and try to repay the fans’ support with some worthy performances, letting them feel proud again for being a Kitchee supporter,” declared the Spaniard.