One brother bitter, but Alis help trounce Macau

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 December, 2009, 12:00am

Akbar Ali, the second of the four Ali brothers on the team, felt left out last night after Hong Kong accomplished their mission to ensure they will be in the bronze-medal play-off on Sunday.

They did that by trouncing Macau 5-0, and it was smiles all around, but skipper Akbar still had a gripe, for he was the only one of the four siblings not to score yesterday.

He complained that the umpires - well, one of them - turned down a completely legitimate goal he scored midway through the first half.

Akbar's turned-down goal came in the 15th minute. He was standing just outside the D, received a lovely pass from Arif Ali, took a step forward and hammered the ball into the goal. The referee deemed that he was standing outside the D.

'Yes, I was outside the circle, but the ball was on the line. I will try to show the referee he was wrong,' Akbar said. His only consolation was that the rest of his brothers got on the score sheet, and that Hong Kong won quite comfortably to book their place in the bronze-medal match.

The eldest Ali, Asghar, got the ball rolling with a simple tap-in from a Swalikh Mohammed cross, after the latter had received a defence-splitting pass from Farouq Saeed.

The goals kept rolling in. Good lead-up work from Asghar and Arif led to Siddick Khan turning provider for Chung Shun-hei, who got the second goal. Then it was Arif's turn to show off his drag flick from a penalty corner to give Hong Kong a 3-0 lead at the break.

Goals from Asif Ali, and another from a penalty corner by Arif, hammered home Hong Kong's domination. It was a welcome result after Hong Kong had suffered heavy defeats by Japan and China earlier in the round-robin competition.

But veteran defender Saeed hopes it will be China that Hong Kong faces in the bronze-medal match - it is still not decided which of Japan, Korea or China will fail to make it through to the gold-medal game.

'We would prefer China, as I think we can be competitive. The main thing is we are in with a chance of winning a medal, and we will be going all out for it, as this will be the last chance for most of us,' Saeed said.

In the women's competition, Hong Kong lost 8-0 to South Korea.