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UAE 3-1 Hong Kong: Lowest-ranked team of the tournament put up a good fight

The UAE initiated their AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Group C campaign with a 3-1 victory against Hong Kong at the Khalifa International Stadium on Sunday.

Despite being the lowest-ranked team in the competition, Hong Kong exhibited considerable attacking intent early on, making several long-range attempts.

However, Khalid Eisa in the UAE goal faced little trouble. Just before the 10-minute mark, Everton Camargo missed a good opportunity. Despite having teammates on either side, he opted to go for glory himself, only to have his attempt blocked.

Despite the loss, Philip Chan Siu Kwan, Hong Kong’s goalscorer, etched his name in AFC Asian Cup history by netting the 1,000th goal of the continental showpiece.

The match featured a pivotal moment in the 31st minute when Hong Kong’s center-back, Oliver Gerbig, seemingly handled Sultan Adil’s shot inside the box. Adil capitalized on the opportunity, converting from the spot to give the UAE the lead.

UAE vs Hong Kong: Dragons will face Iran next!

Hong Kong started the second half with great momentum, and their efforts paid off when Chan leveled the score in the 50th minute, skillfully slotting home a remarkable cross from Everton.

This goal not only marked Hong Kong’s first goal since Chang Chi Kong’s effort in 1956, which was the inaugural goal in the competition but also became the 1,000th goal of the continental showpiece, adding another significant milestone for the team.

Nevertheless, the joy for the Dragons was short as UAE quickly regained the lead in the very next minute. Despite initially blocking Abdalla Ramadan’s right-footed attempt from outside the box, Hong Kong’s veteran goalkeeper Yapp Hung Fai had little recourse as the rebound was collected by Zayed Sultan, who calmly tucked the ball into the center of the net.

In response, Hong Kong made multiple offensive changes, including the notable substitution of 19-year-old forward Michael Udebuluzor for defender Yue Tze Nam. However, their efforts were in vain as a second UAE penalty in added time saw substitute Yahya Al Ghassani confidently slotting home, securing the points.

UAE aims for another victory in their upcoming match against Palestine on Thursday, while Hong Kong will strive to keep their Group C hopes alive against the Islamic Republic of Iran on Friday.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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