In its first game at the Hong Kong Stadium for more than a year, Hong Kong still could not manage to get a win. However, unlike the previous two games, the team under Mixu Paatelainen had a much more solid display against Iran, the top Asian team in the FIFA World Ranking.
Yapp Hung-fai: 7/10
Solid. Yapp worked hard and stayed concentrated when needed. The quality of his kicking dropped slightly after the break but couldn’t blame him for the two quality goals from Azmoun and Ansarifard.
Tsui Wang-kit: 7.5/10
Exactly the Tsui Wang-kit fans are expecting. The young right-back was lively in both attacking and defending. Huge improvement after the away game in Cambodia.
Dani Cancela: 7/10
The problem of Dani’s lack of pace was minimized by Mixu’s 7-2-1 formation. The experienced left-back stayed in his position well and made some good crosses. Sacrificed himself for a yellow card to stop a counterattack from Iran in the second half and gave his 100%.
Did well, strong in the air and made some good blocks in the penalty area. An improvement in his decision making will be helpful.
Huang Yang: 6.5/10
Perhaps it was too difficult to hold up the ball in the mid-field against attackers of Asia’s no.1, but our captain defended well and stayed concentrated in his position.
James Ha: 7/10
Now we see what James Ha can do in his favourite position. Made good hustle and runs in the counterattack. His cross to Law Tsz-Chun was almost inch-perfect.
It has been a while since Roberto’s presence in Hong Kong’s first team line-up. He gave his 100% and his marking was crucial.
Tan Chun-lok: 7/10
Hold up the ball well when needed. Tan’s quick thinking and passes had a key role in our counterattacks.
Law Tsz-chun: 7/10
Lively in both attacking and defending. Was unfortunate that he couldn’t capitalize by a great run in the six-yard box. What a great debut from the 22-year-old.
Tong Kin-man: 6.5/10
Worked well with Tsui Wan-kit on the right defensively. Stayed concentrated and blocked a few passes and crosses.
Andy Russell: 7/10
Strong in the air and thrown his body a few times to stop the Iranian attackers. Will be a perfect performance if he successfully blocked the pass to Ansarifard inside the box in the second half.
Alex Akande: 6.5/10
Worked hard. Shown good control of the ball and tried to make some link-up plays down the middle. Didn’t have many chances to show his finishing skills.
Cheng Siu-kwan: 6.5/10
A good substitution made by Mixu. Cheng worked extremely hard and did well. Nice debut and we hope to see more of him in the future.
Chung Wai-keung: 6.5/10
It’s always positive to see more of our young players on the pitch. Worked hard defensively but couldn’t do much in counterattacks due to the lack of support.
I stood for the entire 90 minutes with the fans in Block 102. The atmosphere was amazing, and everyone was cheering for our players. The “We are Hong Kong” chants almost voiced out the cheers for Iranian’s goal celebrations. Perhaps the great turnout was mainly influenced by our city’s current political distress, but the efforts of Hong Kong players truly deserve our full support, please keep coming! If football is something that could draw us to stand as one and support our team, why not stay connected?