Fans again boo China national anthem as Hong Kong down Cambodia 4-2 in friendly at Mong Kok Stadium
Kim Pan-gon’s side are preparing for November’s East Asian Championship qualifiers, which will take place in Taiwan and include the hosts, Guam and North Korea
Fans continued to boo the China national anthem as Hong Kong defeated Cambodia 4-2 in an international friendly at Mong Kok Stadium on Thursday.
Led by veteran forward Manoel dos Santos, who is enjoying his best form after playing across the border for League One club Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard, the home side cruised to a comfortable win as part of their preparation for the East Asian Championship qualifiers in November.
But it was the fans behaviour that once again caught the attention of the organisers as boos could be heard as March Of The Volunteers, the national anthem that Hong Kong shares with China, was played before the match.
“We are still waiting for the match commissioner report and it is too early to say if there is any punishment,” said a Hong Kong Football Association spokesman.
Watch: Hong Kong v Cambodia (Provided by nowsports)
“After all, it is only friendly game. The situation was not desirable, but sometimes you just can’t stop the fans if they intended to do so.”
Hong Kong has been fined twice by Fifa for the fans’ behaviour of booing the China national anthem in the World Cup qualifiers last year.
At 36, Dos Santos, who is better known as Itaparica, scored the second goal for the home side but it was his skills and unselfish runs up front that impressed the 3,500 fans who kept chanting Hong Kong throughout the match.
Jaimes McKee put Hong Kong ahead in the opening stages before Chreng Polroth equalised for visitors.
But after Itaparica netted and Sandro added a penalty, Hong Kong claimed a 3-1 lead at half-time.
Chan Vathanaka, the most impressive player of Cambodia, who are ranked 180th compared to 147th ranked Hong Kong, reduced the deficit after the break before Lo Kwan-yee sealed the victory for the home side with five minutes remaining.
“I am very happy as this is my first goal for Hong Kong,” said Itaparica, who only received his Hong Kong identity in November.
“I need to work hard in China so that the coach will keep selecting me.”
Itaparica has already scored six goals for China League One side Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard this season.
Coach Kim Pan-gon was also delighted with the result, although there were some tense moments in the second half.
“We could not win for a long time and it’s nice to taste victory,” he said. “We had a good first half, but dropped the level after the break.
“Some of players just came back from preseason and were not in their best form while some players who are playing in the China League, but lack regular appearance also failed to deliver. We need to address the problem.”