With the men’s senior team still being without a head coach at the moment, all attention was on Hong Kong’s women’s national team led by Ricardo Rambo, as they drew 1-1 with Chinese Taipei at Tsueng Kwan O Sports Ground on Sunday, March 24th. Chan Wing-sze’s opener gave Hong Kong the lead in the first half, while Chen Yenping equalized for Taiwan just minutes before the match ended.
The home team was in control in the first half and got several shots on goal. Cheung Wai-ki had two attempts on target in the 12th and 28th minute, but was denied by Taiwan keeper Liao Wenchi. In the 33rd minute, an error by the Taiwanese defense allowed Lee Wing-yan to take aim, but her shot was dealt with by Liao once again.
Nonetheless, Hong Kong broke the deadlock in the 40th minute, when Cheung Wai-ki set up Chan Wing-sze on the left side of the box and the Hong Kong captain hit a curling shot which went in at the far post. With a narrow 1-0 lead for the home team, both sides headed back to their dressing rooms at half time.
Chinese Taipei, who won all of the six encounters against Hong Kong in the past seven years, were in control in the second half. However, Hong Kong still managed to produce several chances to test Liao Wenchi. In the 50th minute, a failed clearance from Taiwan’s Wang Hsianghuei gave Wong So-han a chance in the box, but it was easily held by Liao Wenchi. Five minutes later, Wong Shuk-fan’s curling shot from outside the box went just wide. Cheung Wai-ki had a chance in the76th minute, but her shot was blocked by Liao.
Chinese Taipei got more chances towards the end of the match, as they looked for an equalizer. Zhuo Liping’s shot in the 79th minute went high, and the Taiwan winger had another chance three minutes later. This time her shot hit the side of the net. The away team finally equalized in the 88th minute when Wu Shihping’s through-pass found Chen Yenping, whose shot on the left side of the box went past Hong Kong goalkeeper Ng Yuen-ki. Both sides failed to create more chances afterwards and the match ended 1-1.
Speaking after the match, head coach Ricardo Rambo was satisfied with the performance of the Hong Kong women’s team, emphasizing the players showed improvements in the match and it was a good preparation for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers which will be held in Uzbekistan next month.
Photos by Ken Wu