Reigning Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee established themselves as the territory’s leading club in recent years by winning five titles between 2011 and 2017.
The club went a step further this year when they became the first team from the city to pick up a win in the group stages of the AFC Champions League as they notched up a surprise 1-0 victory over Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol. Kitchee have an excellent record at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens, having become only the second local side to win the tournament in 2011 when they defeated Scotland’s Celtic 1-0 in the final.
Three years later Kitchee returned to the final, but were unable to add a second title as they lost to Manchester City. Previous appearances at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens have seen Kitchee lift the Plate in 2005 by beating hosts Hong Kong Football Club 2-0 in the final, before losing in the final of the same tournament in 2009 after a penalty shootout defeat to Birmingham City followed a 1-1 draw. Last time out they lost to Olympique Marseille and West Ham United to finish bottom of Group D, before a 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix in the Plate semi-finals.