Several players were given their debut in the international friendly played in Hong Kong as a warm-up to the AFF Cup in DecemberHong Kong hosted Singapore in an international friendly match that took place in the Hong Kong Stadium. The home side, donning their brand-new home strip on the evening, did not disappoint their passionate supporters by overcoming the visiting Singapore side, winning the match by a score of 1-0.
The Lions gave a starting debut to Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Ahmad Fahmie and Safirul Sulaiman with several key players including, captain Shahril Ishak, missing.
Hong Kong excited the home crowd almost immediately after the kick-off when winger Lee Hong-lim broke lose on the 3rd minute and unleashed a curling shot that went just wide from the Singapore goal.
Li Hong-lim turned provider shortly afterwards when he danced his way past several Singapore defenders and found teammate Lam Ka-wai with a lovely pass. The diminutive midfielder fired a curler but his effort was way off target.
Lam Ka-wai came close again on the 14th minute when his free-kick attempt just outside the Singapore penalty area was nicely turned away by the visiting goalkeeper. It was a brilliant effort by the Hong Kong midfield general and an equally brilliant save by the Singapore stopper.
The visiting side launched their first serious attack on the 24th minute when Shaiful Esah’s free-kick attempt failed to connect with any one of his teammates that was attacking the Hong Kong penalty area. The ball drifted past the Hong Kong goal and went out of bounds.
Hong Kong opened the score on the 35th minute when a burst of speed from Huang Yang in the midfield saw the home team intercepting a Singapore pass in their own back half. Huang alertly picked out Au Yeung Yiu-chung and the youngster’s centering pass was met by the ever dangerous Lam Ka-wai. The midfielder kept his composure inside the Singapore penalty area and coolly picked out the bottom corner, putting the home side in front.
Hong Kong almost doubled their lead on the 45th minute when Lee Hong-lim and Au Yeung Yiu-chung both had their shots saved in quick succession by the Singapore goalkeeper, Hyrulnizam Juma’at. The goalkeeper showed off some cat-like reflexes and pull off an amazing double-save.
Singapore almost tied the game on the 49th minute when striker Agu Casmir’s header was acrobatically turned away by Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai. The keeper courageously dove for and collected the rebound to ensure Hong Kong retained its one-goal lead.
Singapore came close again on the 75th minute when substitute Qiu Li took advantage of some sloppy Hong Kong defending and fired a powerful shot inside the Hong Kong penalty area. Goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai proved equal to the task and calmly pushed the ball away from danger.
Hong Kong managed to retain the lead for the rest of the match, winning by a score of 1-0, sending the passionate Hong Kong supporters home in delightful fashion.
Singapore will next face Malaysia on June 8 and 12, with the first fixture to be played at Jalan Besar Stadium.