EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final - Japan 5:0 Hong Kong
Hong Kong came up against Japan in the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Final Korea Republic on Saturday evening. The contest that took place in Busan Gudeok Stadium ended on a disappointing note for Hong Kong, as the side was overmatched by Japan and fell short in a 0:5 defeat.
Hong Kong almost surprised Japan with an early attack. On the 4th minute, an attacking play from the right-wing saw the ball being swung into the Japan penalty area. The ball was nodded away by a Samurai defender, only to be blasted wide by Cheng Chin-lung outside the box.
Japan drew first blood of the game on the 7th minute, as the Hong Kong defense failed to clear the ball away from inside its danger area. Daiki Suga seized the opportunity and belted a thunderous strike from the left-side of the penalty area that flew straight into the far-corner. It was a spectacular drive from the Japanese player.
Japan quickly doubled its lead on the 14th minute. Skipper Ohshima Ryota delivered a swirling corner-kick into the Hong Kong penalty area. Tagawa Kyosuke fought off pressure from two Hong Kong defenders and nodded the ball to the far-corner. Japan now had a two-goal lead.
The Samurai nearly pulled further away on the 25th minute. Tagawa Kyosuke found himself on the receiving-end of a sweet through-pass from a teammate. The Japanese player was virtually unmarked inside the box, then one-timed at the ball but fired it wide.
However, Japan was not to be denied and added another goal a minute later. Ogawa Koki unleashed a bouncing shot right outside the Hong Kong penalty area. The ball travelled between two Hong Kong defenders and found its way into the net. Japan was up by three goals at this stage.
Hong Kong suffered another blow right before half-time. Japan launched a great cross from the right-wing and caused havoc inside the Hong Kong box. The ball bounced around and fell in front of Ogawa Koki, who duly drilled it home. Japan was leading by four goals heading into the interval.
Japan almost scored an early goal in the second-half. On the 50th minute, Tagawa Kyosuke pulled the ball back for teammate Ohshima Ryota. The latter fired a low-drive from inside the Hong Kong penalty area but was brilliantly turned away by a one-handed save from goalkeeper Tse Tak-him.
Hong Kong came up with a rare chance on the 56th minute. A Ju Yingzhi free-kick was punched away by Japan goalkeeper Osaka Keisuke. Cheng Chin-lung took control of the ball near the edge of the box and quickly belted a shot that glanced off the crossbar and stayed out of the net.
Japan expanded its lead on the 58th minute. Ohshima Ryota whipped a lovely cross towards the Hong Kong goal-mouth. Ogawa Koki took care of the rest and headed the ball home, completing his hat-trick in the process. Japan was well ahead by five goals at this point.
It was still Japan late in the second-half. On the 82nd minute, Tanaka Shunta carved open the Hong Kong defense with a great forward pass. Tagawa Kyosuke gave chase, darted into the box but fired the ball wide off the Hong Kong goal-post.
Japan kept the pressure coming. On the 86th minute, Ueda Ayase connected with a teammate’s centering pass and dished out a diving header that hit the Hong Kong goal-post and stayed out of the net. Hong Kong dodged a bullet on the occasion.
A minute later, Japan generated another goal-scoring chance. This time, Ohshima Ryota delivered a sweet corner-kick into the Hong Kong box. Tanaka Shunta soared high but sent his header wide off the Hong Kong goal.
The score remained unchanged at the final whistle, as Hong Kong suffered a 0:5 defeat against Japan on the evening.