Hong Kong defeats Laos 3-1
The Hong Kong national team earned a full three points after defeating Laos 3-1 in the opening Group A qualifying men’s soccer match at Patriot Chandrabaga Stadium in Bekasi city on Friday.
In front of about 10,000 spectators, Laos attempted to put pressure on Hong Kong through its attacking duo, Bounkong Bounpachan and Natphasouk.
The two strikers created opportunity to score in the second minute of the match following quick short passes from fellow midfielder and another from a winger. However, both attempts were successfully brushed aside by Hong Kong goalkeeper Yuen Ho Chun.
Laos goalkeeper Paseuth Saymanolynh came close to conceding a goal in the 13th minute after missing a ball, which eventually fell into the control of Hong Kong player Matthew Elliot. Luckily, a Laotian defender came to the rescue and thwarted the attack.
Hong Kong managed to pick up its first goal in the 19th minute after forward Cheng Hin Lung kicked the ball after the Laotian goalkeeper failed to grab it following a hard kick by Tan Chun Lok.
After being left one goal behind, Laos increased the pressure on Hong Kong but tended to be much more aggressive, leading to a yellow card issued by the referee to Laos midfielder Kongmathilath in the 30th minute after he tackled an opponent outside the field when the ball was already out.
Laos captain Khochalern tried to break the impasse by shooting a direct kick from outside the penalty box in the 36th minute, however the Hong Kong goalkeeper managed to brush the ball aside. Tan Chun Lok increased Hong Kong’s supremacy through his hard kick in the 40th minute, a move goalkeeper Pasuth failed to anticipate.
The referee from Kyrgyzstan, East Faizullin, blew his whistle as a sign of the end of the first half of the match with Hong Kong's temporary 2-0 win over Laos.
In the second half of the match, Hong Kong continued to dominate the game in the first few minutes through wing attacks and long-range passes.
However, Laos managed to reduce the goal gap when Kongmathilath Phitack turned a scrimmage in Hong Kong's penalty area into a goal in the 61st minute.
Kwok Kar Lok's team added to the goals when player Tan Chun Lok escaped from Laos defender’ pursuit and scored a goal in Laos’ defense in the 85th minute after the ball that he kicked touched Laos player Launlasy’s foot and headed into the goal.
The 3-1 score lasted the referee blew the whistle at the 94th minute after an additional four minutes additional time of injury time.
Reporter: Andi Firdaus
AG Media Publication in cooperation with The Jakarta Post