Hong Kong holds a 2-2 Draw against Turkmenistan in Intense World Cup Qualifier
Hong Kong faced Turkmenistan last Tuesday in a crucial match for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers in the second round at Hong Kong Stadium. Hong Kong tied 2-2 despite trailing twice.
Ranked just nine places lower than their opponents, Hong Kong fielded a strong lineup, including the Kitchee combination of Chan Shinichi and Azevedo Pedreira Fernando Augusto on the left flank.
Everton Camargo, making a return, played in the centre alongside striker Udebuluzor Michael Chibuikem, while An Wing-Kwan started on the bench. Hong Kong captain Yip Hung-fai guarded the goal, with Leung Nok Hang and Lo Kwan Yee in central defence. The midfield featured Wong Wai, Chan Siu-Kwan, and Chan Chun-lok for the attack.
6,601 supporters chanted inspiring slogans from the stands. Among them were approximately 20 Turkmenistan fans.
Early in the game, Hong Kong conceded a goal in the 4th minute when Turkmenistan capitalised on a defensive vulnerability. Ruslan Kamilyevich Mingazov, Turkmenistan midfield chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, putting Turkmenistan in the lead.
However, Hong Kong equalised in the eighth minute through Wong Wai's header from Yu Chun Nam's cross. The team then gained momentum and launched a fierce attack.
In the 21st minute, Wong Wai's free-kick found Chen Zhaojun, who scored with a header, but the referee decided it was offside despite protests from the home crowd.
Turkmenistan also had an offside goal in the first half. In the 36th minute, Mamedov outjumped Yu Chun-nam to head the ball into the net, giving Turkmenistan a 2-1 lead.
Hong Kong had opportunities to level the score, with Everton's shot was blocked and Chan Chun Lok hitting the crossbar from a corner kick.
Coach Anderson brought on An Wing-kwan to strengthen the attack, and in the 65th minute, Wong Wai's free-kick found An Wing-kwan, whose header was parried by the goalkeeper. Everton reacted quickly and equalised, bringing it to 2-2.
In the remaining minutes, Hong Kong continued to press for a winning goal. But Turkmenistan saved a shot by Everton's shot, An Wing-kwan's header missed over the bar, and Chen Jinchi's close-range effort was also blocked by the goalkeeper.
Lee Lok-yin, a 21-year-old student and passionate football fan, loved the electrifying atmosphere at the qualifier.
"The atmosphere at the stadium was incredible today. I believe Hong Kong had the ability to win this game. It was intense, with both teams launching attacks back and forth," he said.
"Over 6,000 fans were there, cheering for our team. I think the overall performance of the Hong Kong team was good. We didn't deserve to concede that early goal. If we truly want to advance, we must win the next match," he added.
Hong Kong will face Uzbekistan at home on March 21 next year in their next group stage match. However, before that, they will compete in the FIFA AFC Asian Cup finals in China in January.
《The Young Reporter》
The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.
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