Hong Kong beaten by Thailand in bumpy start to Gary White’s tenure as team manager
Visitors hold on to early lead at Mong Kok as supporters cheer for new boss, but boo Chinese anthem
Gary White’s debut match as Hong Kong head coach ended in defeat at Mong Kok Stadium on Thursday night up as visitors Thailand ran out 1-0 winners in the Englishman’s bow.
Despite strong support from the 4,740 fans for the international friendly, they could not recover from an early goal from Philip Roller, who charged in from the right to net beyond hapless Hong Kong goalkeeper Yaap Hung-fai in just the second minute.
Defender Festus Baise came close to equalising for the hosts in the first half but his header, which had already beaten the Thai goalkeeper, was denied by the woodwork before Alex Akande narrowly missed the target with a low drive.
Fans remained to chant for White at the end of the match, and the new manager will have another chance to register his first win as Hong Kong boss when they travel to meet Indonesia next week.
With the National Anthem Law still not yet enacted in Hong Kong, a group of fans continued to boo the March of the Volunteers before the match.
The last time fans booed the Chinese anthem was almost a year ago when Hong Kong played hosts to Lebanon in the Asian Cup qualifiers at Hong Kong Stadium.