Defender Chan Wai-ho bids farewell as Hong Kong draw 0-0 with Jordan
Veteran defender plays his 65th and final international as Hong Kong prepare for their Asian Cup qualifier against North Korea
Veteran Chan Wai-ho ended his 17-year international career as Hong Kong and Jordan drew 0-0 in a friendly match at Mong Kok Stadium on Wednesday.
Playing in his 65th game for Hong Kong, Chan came on in the last 20 minutes of the international match that doubled as preparation for the Asian Cup qualifier against North Korea next week.
The 35-year-old centre-half was saluted by his teammates and the 2,700 fans at the end of the match.
“I was here for the farewell game not because I am better than my fellow players,” said an emotional Chan, who received a flower bouquet from his son after 90 minutes. “I am here just because I am older than you. I must thank a lot of people for giving me the opportunity of having such a great moment.
“Jordan is a quality side as they beat us 4-0 in the last match but perhaps my fellow players want to give me a good farewell gift and tried hard in the match to keep a clean sheet before I was brought into the game. Indeed, we created some chances which could have given us the win.
“I sincerely hope they can keep their performances in future and if they can do that we certainly have a chance against North Korea.”
Helio Goncalves headed into the net before the end of the first half after Alex Akande hit the crossbar, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Jordan, who boast a Fifa ranking 109 against 148 for Hong Kong, intended to use the match to prepare for their Asian Cup qualifiers against home team Vietnam next week. The visitors had more possession in the first half, but slowed down in the second half largely because of the heat and humidity.
Coach Kim Pan-gon praised his charges for their performance against quality opponents.
“We need more matches of this level from time to time so that we can lift our standard,” he said. “It’s important to have such a game ahead of the match against North Korea.”