Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA)

I’m staying on, says Hong Kong coach Kim Pan-gon after 1-1 draw with North Korea

South Korean coach says he has no intention of leaving despite calls for his resignation by several fans during Tuesday’s draw with North Korea

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2017, 11:35pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 June, 2017, 2:52am

Hong Kong coach Kim Pan-gon insisted he was staying at the helm after watching his side hold North Korea to a 1-1 draw in the Asian Cup qualifiers on Tuesday night.

“I would probably consider out [leaving] only when my contract is finished,” said Kim who ignored several banners on Tuesday night at Hong Kong Stadium calling for his resignation.

That means Kim is committed to staying on as coach until March of next year when the Asian Cup qualifiers have been completed as stipulated in his contract.

“I must praise my boys today. We had the passion, we had the desire and we were close to winning. Our target remains clear and that’s to qualify for the final [Asian Cup finals].”

The coach also praised young goalscorer Tan Chun-lok, whom he brought to the 2014 Asian Games where the midfielder had an excellent tournament before going home injured.

“He has strong potential but the problem with our young players is that we don’t have sufficient competitive matches in domestic competitions. His level clearly dropped in the second half against Jordan,” said Kim.

Tan, who plays for Tai Po who won the Sapling Cup last season, scored a fortuitous first goal for Hong Kong. The 21-year-old forward met a right cross from Alex Akande before rifling a powerful shot that took a wicked deflection off defender Jang Kuk-chol before rolling into the far corner.

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Hong Kong have only themselves to blame themselves for conceding the equaliser. Roberto Affonso Junior lost possession of the ball inside the box under pressure from Kim Yu-song and with teammate Helio Goncalves failing to clear his lines, Kim easily beat goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai from close range.

North Korea coach Jorn Andersen was not too disappointed with the result, saying it was never going to be easy snatching a point playing away.

We’re not tortured if we lose, says North Korea striker Pak Kwang-ryong

“It was a good game, much better than last year when we came here,” said the Norwegian. “Hong Kong are more active and more dangerous this time as they tried to play long balls and quick balls especially in the second half which gave us a little problems.

“But we created chances in the first half and dominated the game. We only failed to put the ball into the net.”

Towering forward Pak Kwang-ryong lived up to his expectations as one of the few overseas-based North Korean players who shone during the match. The Swiss Super League side Lausanne striker tested the Hong Kong defence with a powerful drive early in the game before being denied by the woodwork with a powerful header.

Myong Cha-hyon then came close to finding the target when his shot from the box went wide.

The visitors brought in Serie A Cagliari forward Han Kwang-song in the closing stages of the match but the 18-year-old youngster failed to make an impact.