Beaten SAR side retain their dignity

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 April, 2004, 12:00am

Hong Kong won the respect of their fans and their opponents despite losing the big match, local Chinese-language media said yesterday. Although Hong Kong players failed to repeat the '5-19' victory of 19 years ago, fans leaving the Siu Sai Wan Stadium were smiling as they believed Hong Kong had retained their dignity.

One of the fans interviewed by Ming Pao said, 'I feel satisfied with Hong Kong's performance. The conditioning of Hong Kong footballers is not as good as their counterparts. It is not surprising that they lost the match but they lost without losing face.' Another fan, Ah Wai, said: 'Hong Kong tried their best. It is a pity that their fitness failed to match the Chinese players. But then they should also reflect upon the goal that they conceded.'

The Oriental Daily News said that the Hong Kong players would receive their $50,000-a-man win bonus, even though they lost the World Cup Asian Zone qualifier.