Hong Kong set to lock horns against Japan in EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final
Hong Kong will face Japan in its second match in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final Korea Republic on Saturday afternoon. Match venue for the battle is Busan Gudeok Stadium and kick-off time is set for 7:30pm. (Busan, Korea Republic, local time)
Despite falling short against host-national Korea Republic 0:2 in the opening game, Hong Kong showed tremendous grit throughout the battle and even managed to threaten the Korea Republic goal through speedy counter-attacks. Helio Goncalves was rock-solid in defense for Hong Kong, while Huang Yang and Tan Chun-lok patrolled the midfield with endless running and determination. Up-front, striker James Ha managed to put the Korea Republic defense under pressure with his blazing speed and nearly scored Hong Kong’s first goal in this year’s competition.
Hong Kong skipper Huang Yang reveals his side has been spending a lot of time between matches on physical-recovery and insists the troops must be mentally-ready for Saturday’s battle against Japan.
“The first game against Korea Republic was a tough one and our players did lots of running on the pitch, hence with only two rest-days in between matches, the ounces have been on recovering,” said the tenacious midfielder.
“Having said that, we have still managed to put in some tactical training in our sessions, especially aimed for the game against Japan. With so little time to prepare between games, our players really need to ensure they are mentally prepared for the challenges ahead.”
Japan got off to a winning start in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final Korea Republic by edging China PR 2:1 in the first game. The side established a two-goal lead after seventy minutes and only a late-goal by China PR’s Dong Xuesheng managed to spoil the shutout for promising Samurai goalkeeper Nakamura Kosuke.
Up-front, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo striker Suzuki Musashi bagged Japan’s first goal in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final Korea Republic but in truth, Samurai probably still has a lot of options waiting for Hong Kong. Midfielder Tanaka Ao was named the Best Young Player in J-League from the past season, while winger Nakagawa Teruhito received the prestigious MVP honor for his stellar performance in the 2019 J-League campaign. Both players did not see any playing time in the opening game and might find themselves on the pitch come Saturday night.