Hong Kong visited Doha, Qatar on Thursday night for a crucial fixture in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (Asia) Round 2 – Group C against Qatar. Hong Kong put up a proud fight but had no answers to home side Qatar, falling short 2:0 and dropping all three points from the encounter.
Hong Kong had a decent chance to open the score on the 8th minute, when Roberto Affonso’s corner-kick was headed off-target by a leaping Andrew Russell.
Qatar drew first blood of the game on the 20th minute, when Abdelkarim Hassan delivered the ball into the Hong Kong box from the left side. The opportunistic Hasan Al Haydos took care of the rest and fired the ball home from the box, gifting the home side a one-goal lead.
On the 30th minute, Qatar managed to come close again. This time, Karim Boudiaf successfully whipped the ball into the Hong Kong danger area. Boualem Khoukhi threw himself towards the ball but directed it off target.
It was still Qatar on the 40th minute, as Karim Boudiaf’s forward passed carved open the Hong Kong defense and found Mohamed Musa. The latter took a quick shot but was courageously denied by Hong Kong keeper Yapp Hung-fai.
Hong Kong tried to equalize and came close to doing so. On the 52nd minute, Roberto Affonso’s corner-kick found teammate Festus Baise. The latter unleashed a dangerous header but somehow failed to find the intended target.
Qatar pressed hard for the next goal and came close on the 65th minute, when Abdelkarim Hassan darted forward and sent a teasing cross to the box. Rodrigo Tabata dodged the tackle of Hong Kong keeper Yapp Hung-fai and quickly pulled the trigger, only to see his shot hitting the goal-post and stayed out from the net.
Tabata had another chance for Qatar on the 72nd minute. Unfortunately, the skilful Qatar player could not hit the target with his quality free-kick.
Hong Kong generated a decent chance and almost found the back of the net on the 78th minute. Unfortunately, Alessandro Ferreira wasted teammate Andrew Russell’s pass by smashing the ball over the Qatar crossbar.
Qatar added an insurance goal on the 86th minute, when Ismail Mohamad’s low-cross from the right side was met by Sebastian Suria. The latter wasted no time and dully fired the ball home, making it 2:0 for the home side.
The score stood towards the final whistle, as Qatar overcame Hong Kong’s challenges and defeated the visitors by 2:0.