Now in their 19th edition – and 20th year – as hosts of the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens, Hong Kong Football Club will welcome the most foreign teams ever as 10 sides from overseas descend on Happy Valley.
Last year, the hosts slipped up in their opener against Rangers before securing an encouraging 0-0 draw with Italy’s Cagliari, only to finish bottom of their group following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of HK Red Dragons. Those results took HKFC into the quarter-finals of the Plate competition, where they were handed a narrow 2-1 defeat by Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen.
That followed up from a run to the semi-finals of the Plate competition in 2016, where they lost to eventual winners Stoke City. Three years ago, the hosts put in their best-ever performance at the tournament when they lifted the Plate after a penalty shootout victory over Leicester City followed a goalless draw in the final.
Hong Kong Football Club had earlier defeated Singapore Cricket Club and HKFC Captain’s Select to reach their first Plate final since 2012. Back in 2012, the hosts lost 3-0 to West Ham United in the final of the Plate, while they also reached the same stage in 2005 before Kitchee ran out 2-0 victors.