Hong Kong hold Indonesia to 1-1 draw in Gary White’s second match in charge
Coach is pleased with the result as Hong Kong boost their confidence ahead of next month’s EAFF Championship where they face North Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan
Coach Gary White promised a “good result” and Hong Kong achieved a creditable performance by holding Indonesia to a 1-1 draw in a friendly on Tuesday night in Cikarang city.
White was in charge of his second Hong Kong match since being appointed coach last month and he will return with his head held high after watching his side come back from one goal down to share the spoils at Wibawa Mukti Stadium.
Having lost 1-0 to Thailand at Mong Kok Stadium last week in another friendly, the Englishman eased the pressure by coming away with a result. He also made good on his promise that the Hong Kong squad would score, too.
White was satisfied with the result and said: “I think we had a lot of pace and speed and those were the two major differences [from Hong Kong’s game against Thailand] and in short, it was a very, very good competitive game. I think it was [a case] of who took their chances in that game. I think it was very even.
“In the first half of the game, we got a bit sloppy and gave up possession too easily but the team played better in the second half and set up a few good chances [to score].”
Hong Kong soaked up the early pressure and the hosts were 1-0 up in the 39th minute when 36-year-old Brazilian striker Alberto Gonvalves Da Costa – better known as Beto – found the net but Hong Kong fought back and were rewarded with a 69th minute equaliser scored by 39-year-old Nigerian-born defender Festus Baise.
White had made three substitutions seven minutes prior to the leveller with Giovane da Silva coming off the bench and playing his second match for Hong Kong after obtaining his passport last month.
The result will put Hong Kong in good stead as they now focus on next month’s second round of the EAFF Championship, where they will take on North Korea, Mongolia and hosts Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Japan made it three wins out of three under new coach Hajime Moriyasu with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Uruguay in a friendly in Saitama.
Inspired by 24-year-old playmaker Shoya Nakajima and forward Takumi Minamino, who finished the night with a brace, Japan stunned Oscar Tabarez’s side, who are ranked fifth in the world.
Japan, ranked 54th, continued on from their 3-0 victory over Panama on Friday with a vibrant attacking display involving many of the younger players Moriyasu has brought in since taking over after the 2018 World Cup.
Starting with Minamino, 23, Ritsu Doan, 20, and Nakajima as three attacking midfielders behind Yuya Osako, Japan played a brand of football that Uruguay struggled to cope with.
The trio only had nine caps between them coming into the night. But Salzburg’s Minamino started the scoring after 10 minutes, wriggling past Uruguay captain Diego Godin with a clever turn and drilling his shot into the top corner past keeper Fernando Muslera.
In Nanjing, Marcello Lippi-coached China beat Syria 2-0 in a friendly with Gao Lin opening the scoring in the 20th minute and Wu Lei adding the second goal in the 68th minute. China’s victory came after a disappointing 0-0 draw with India at the weekend.