Forget draw and win next two games, urges Hong Kong captain Yapp Hung-fai after AFC Asian Cup disappointment
Sandro’s missed stoppage-time penalty in Malaysia blew golden chance of victory
Hong Kong captain Yapp Hung-fai told his fellow players to put behind the disappointing draw against Malaysia in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers behind them, after Sandro missed a penalty to win it in stoppage time on Tuesday.
“We can’t think too much about it,” said the Eastern goalkeeper.
“We still have to host Malaysia next month and the most important thing is to beat them and get a victory.
“Now we have to take it match by match regardless of who we are going to play, and hopefully we can win all the remaining matches.”
Malaysia were lucky to get a 1-1 draw in front of their home fans at Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca after giving away the spot kick in added time period.
After Alex Akande was brought down in the box – and two Malaysian players were sent off in the aftermath of the incident – Hong Kong looked well set for their first win of the qualifiers.
But Sandro, top scorer in the Hong Kong Premier Leauge last season with 21 goals, hit a weak shot which was easily blocked by the goalkeeper.
The Kitchee striker had opened the scoring for the visitors shortly after the break in the Group B contest, only for Syazwan Zainon to pull the home side level.
“We showed great determination to win and did pretty well, especially in the first half, but were only let down by failing to bring home a victory,” said Yaap.
Their second point of the campaign lifted Hong Kong level with North Korea, who were earlier held to a 2-2 draw at home by group leaders Lebanon (seven points), ith Malaysia at the foot of the table with one point from two games.
Hong Kong’s next two games are at home to Malaysia (October 10) and Lebanon (November 14), before a trip to North Korea in March next year. The top two in the group qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.