REUTERS - Chan Yuen-ting, head coach of Hong Kong’s Eastern Sports Club, will become the first woman ever to guide a men’s team in a continental competition when they kick off their Asian Champions League campaign at Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday.
Eastern, the first team to represent Hong Kong at Asia’s top club football competition, face a tough opening encounter at Chinese giants Guangzhou, who have twice won the competition.
The 28-year-old Chan led Eastern to the Hong Kong Premier League title last year, and will now test her mettle against Guangzhou’s coach and former World Cup winner Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“It’s quite amazing, especially when you watch the games when he was coaching Brazil and they won the World Cup in 2002,” she told the Asian Football Confederation website.
”I never imagined or expected this could happen but now we’re going to play against him so I feel excited and I‘m looking forward to meeting him.
“But I know at this moment all I need to do is focus on our team and concentrate on the work that we are doing.”
AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said the eyes of the world would be on the match.
“This is a moment of historic significance,” he said. “It is a ground-breaking moment for football in Asia, for the women’s game and for the global game. The world will be watching.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty