AFC Asian Cup qualifiers: All you need to know about Hong Kong, India's opponents in the third-round group
Indian men’s football team would be looking to continue their winning streak when they will lock horns with Hong Kong in their third and final Group D encounter of the third round of AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Hong Kong have also won both its matches against Afghanistan and Cambodia so far. As a result, the final match will determine the top spot, with the winners advancing directly to the AFC Asian Cup 2023 main draw.
Ahead of the meeting between the two teams, here’s a detailed look at Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) was created in 1914 and was one of the 12 founding members of the Asian Football Association (AFC) in 1954 when it also became associated with FIFA.
Hong Kong in 1956 became the first country in Asia to host the AFC Asian Cup. In the same edition, they finished third in the tournament. Their second-best outing came in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup where they ended as a semi-finalist.
Since 1968, Hong Kong has not qualified for another AFC tournament. They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, and their most famous success was a 2–1 upset victory over China in the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC), which saw Hong Kong advance to the second round of qualification
They were unable to break their group stage curse, though, as they finished last in their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Group. They were eliminated after losses to Iraq, Iran, and Bahrain.
Currently ranked 147th in the FIFA rankings, Hong Kong have won the 2010 and 2011 editions of the Long Ten Cup.
Form Guide: WWLLL
Hong Kong have won two out of its last five matches and lost three matches in the group stages of the World Cup Qualifiers in 2021. Their last win came against Cambodia in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.
In the last fifteen international meetings, India have won seven while Hong Kong managed to win four, and the rest have ended in a draws.
However, India has lost its last two meetings against Hong Kong, losing 1-2 in 2009 and 0-1 in 2010.
Yapp Hung Fai: The 32-years-old goalkeeper with 82 appearances is the most capped player for the Hong Kong men’s football team. He was a member of the team that won the gold medal in the East Asian Games in 2009. Hong Kong’s custodian has his task cut out against the Blue Tigers who will be desperate try their best to get all three points against a side ranked lower than them.
Matthew Orr: Hong Kong's attack against the Blue Tigers will be led by this 25-years-old forward. He will be looking to score once more. He rose to the occasion in last two meetings, by scoring goals in both the matches. Just in six appearances for his national side, he has already scored three goals. The 25-year-old’s sleek skills and speed will be crucial in launching counter-attacks for the Hong Kong side.