Hong Kong fans
Hong Kong fans celebrate after a goalless draw against China in SeptemberReuters

A must-win game between two fierce rivals – it doesn't get much bigger than Hong Kong vs China – as the two countries battle it out in a 2018 World Cup qualifier neither can afford to lose.

The last time the two teams met, in the reverse fixture in China, there was plenty of bite in the game, both on the pitch and in the stands, and more of the same is expected at the Mong Kok Stadium on Tuesday, even if the fans will hope for a few goals, considering the first one ended 0-0.

Hong Kong come into this game in the stronger position, having picked up 13 points in six matches. That puts them second, two points behind Group C leaders Qatar. China, who have played a game less than their opponents, can join Hong Kong on 13 points with victory on Tuesday.

"We need a victory this time and must find a solution," China manager Alain Perrin, who is under pressure to produce results, was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post. "We have to improve and be more efficient.

"After the game against Qatar [which China lost 1-0], we now need to win all four remaining matches if we want to play in the next round."

While a positive result on the pitch will be more than welcome, the bigger worry for Hong Kong authorities will be what transpires in the stadium. Around 500 spectators are expected from mainland China, and everyone involved in the game will hope the 90 minutes go on smoothly, on and off the pitch.

While China thumped Bhutan 12-0 in their last World Cup qualifier, Hong Kong came away from Maldives with a narrow 1-0 win, and their manager Kim Pan-gon believes his team can surprise China.

"We feel excited and are ready for the match as our target is to get three points," Kim said. "We know China well, their playing patterns, the tactics they have and the characteristics of each player.

"We have our gameplan and know how to beat them, even if this is a big challenge for us. We play at the same venue every single week and are very familiar with the ground.

"With the support of fans and all citizens of Hong Kong who will cheer for us, we are very united and will try to show to the people we will fight for them."

Where to Watch Live

Hong Kong vs China is scheduled for an 8 pm local time start (5.30 pm IST). India viewers will not be able to watch the match live, as there is no TV coverage in the region.

Audience in Hong Kong can watch their team play China live on TVB Sport, while viewers in China can watch all the action live on CCTV 5 and PPTV Sport China.

Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa can flip their remotes to Bein Sports Arabia to watch China vs Hong Kong, while the online live stream option is on Bein Sports Arabia.

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