(CTN NEWS) – Hong Kong’s manager, Ricardo Rambo, is optimistic about the upcoming friendly match against Thailand on Sunday, seeing it as a valuable opportunity for his women’s team to enhance their preparations for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The match will take place at Tsing Yi Sports Ground.
Overcoming Challenges and Focusing on Progress: Rambo’s Perspective on Hong Kong’s Preparations for Asian Games
Rambo acknowledged the challenges the team has faced due to limited training time and player rotations, but emphasized their strong focus on gearing up for the Asian Games.
Despite not being at peak match fitness, he believes that competing against a team of Thailand’s caliber will provide the players with a valuable learning experience.
“We understand that there might be hurdles along the way, given our current fitness levels. However, encountering such formidable opposition is an integral part of our progression leading up to the Games,” Rambo commented.
The Brazilian center-back, who himself played in Hong Kong from 1998 to 2006, also commended the Thai national team. Notably, the two sides already engaged in a closed-door training match earlier in the week.
The friendly against Thailand serves as a testament to Hong Kong’s commitment to refining their skills and teamwork as they aim to shine in the upcoming Asian Games.
“Thailand boasts an impressive team,” remarked Rambo. “Their ability to swiftly change the direction of the ball, their adeptness in defense, and their skill in launching rapid counter-attacks posed challenges for us.”
“Our task now is to rise to this challenge and translate these learnings into our game plan, especially since encounters like this are rare,” he added.
Facing a Tough Challenge: Hong Kong Gears Up Against Higher-Ranked Thailand
Hong Kong, ranked 34 spots below Thailand, the 44th-ranked team in the global standings, is well aware of the formidable test ahead.
Captain Cheung Wai-ki acknowledged the difficulty but conveyed the team’s determination to remain composed and give their best effort.
The visiting team has encountered defeat only once in their last eight matches, following a 2-0 loss to Cameroon during the inter-confederation play-offs leading up to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Nipawan Panyosuk, captain of Thailand, expressed surprise over Rambo’s decision to exclude her Chonburi FC teammate, Wai Yuen-ting, whom she regards as “the standout player on our team.”
Nipawan emphasized Wai’s technical prowess, consistent performance, and her seamless integration within the Thailand women’s league.
When asked about Wai’s absence two weeks prior, when the squad was announced, Rambo attributed it to “disciplinary matters.” It was reported that Wai withdrew from the team in 2021, citing “unreasonable” circumstances.
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