After reaching the last 16 of the AFC Cup on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s South China coach Ricardo Rambo said his team did a good job when they defeated Group G winners Mohun Bagan 3-0 in India.
What is so impressive about the Hong Kong side progressing to the knockout stage of the competition is that they started off their group campaign with three losses, conceding eight goals in the process
But miraculously they were able to to turn their fortunes around and book their spot in the last 16, a feat achieved by beating the previously undefeated Mohun Bagan on Wednesday.
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Coach Rambo has always had faith in his side and they showed it by winning their last three matches.
“I am really proud of how my boys played and we managed to qualify to the next round. All credit to the boys,” said Rambo.
“I knew that if we played well, we had every chance to win and we did so.
“I look forward to the next round and if we play with the same intensity, we can go even further.”
“We still have to play in the Sapling Cup final [next Wednesday] and the players need a good recovery after another long journey back to Hong Kong.”
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Team convenor Wallace Cheung Kwong-yung was also proud of the side, saying they did not let their fans down.
“There was no way back as we had to achieve a good result despite playing in an away match against the group leaders,” said Cheung.
“But the boys did not let us down and settled the match with three goals in the first-half for a well-accomplished result.”
Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen said he was disappointed to have lost on the night but gave credit to his opponents for their performances in recent weeks.
“As I said we wanted to win before the match but South China played better and so they came out with the result and you could see that they were more hungry for it too. And as I said it would be a tough match,” said Sanjoy.
“Obviously, I am disappointed that we lost but this is football. We look forward to play Tampines Rovers in the next round and I think that will be the actual test.”