Hong Kong on the brink of something special, Taiwan need a miracle

Taiwan in action

Hong Kong close to achieving something special

Hong Kong could be on course to eliminate North Korea from the East Asian Championships, which would be a special achievement as North Korea have been the team to beat in the second for years now, and are also the team who consistently qualify for the third round of the tournament when the big boys of the region enter.

For Hong Kong to pull this off, they need to defeat Mongolia by a decent goal haul and hope that North Korea don’t defeat Taiwan. If North Korea do defeat Taiwan, then Hong Kong will need a massive goal swing in their favour which is probably unlikely.

There has been some moaning by some Hong Kong media outlets, and fans that North Korea will play after the Hong Kong game is over, and therefore will know what they need to do to qualify. The format is exactly the same in every round, every year. Every team knew the format going into the competition. It’s moaning for the moaning sake because the situation doesn’t suit your own team. If the roles were reversed the Hong Kong media outlets wouldn’t be writing about Hong Kong’s unfair advantage; but they’d be reporting how it’s good that Hong Kong have an advantage over the North Korean’s by playing in the later game. Unfortunately it’s the way of the world now, if the situation doesn’t exactly suit your needs, then by all means have a moan.

I think the chances are higher than usual that Hong Kong will get to the final round because this North Korean side doesn’t look as strong as teams they’ve sent to previous editions, and then Gary White will be able to prove he really does have the midas touch when it comes to managing small nations at the arse end of FIFA’s rankings.

Taiwan need a miracle to get to the next round
Taiwan are now in need of a miracle to make the final round which will take place next year in South Korea. Things could have been so different after they equalized late in the game against Hong Kong, but for some reason Taiwan often struggle to hold leads regardless of which minute they equalize.

The game was level for 2 minutes at most, and because Taiwan couldn’t manage to hold onto a 1-1 draw in that first game, they now need Mongolia to help them by beating or drawing with Hong Kong and then going on to defeat North Korea in their own game later that same evening. There isn’t a hope in hell that both these situations will play out the way Taiwan need them too, and it most likely that both Mongolia and Taiwan will be on the end of defeats on Friday evening. If that were to happen then it will come down to who scores the most goals out of Hong Kong and North Korea to determine who will proceed to the final round.

North Korea start the final day of the round as favourites

North Korea will be starting the day in the final round as slight favourites on the basis of already having a better goal difference. However, they have the slightly more difficult last game when they take on hosts Taiwan with Hong Kong facing Mongolia who are the weakest and lowest ranked team of the round.
Both sides will come out with guns blazing, and Hong Kong will fly out the traps against the Mongolians in an attempt to rack up the goals needed, therefore Taiwan could likely still play a huge part in deciding who will go to the final round. 

Which Taiwan will turn up on the final day of the EAFF Championships, will it be the Taiwan that played so well under Gary White and fought valiantly until the end in games like the historic victory over Bahrain, or will it be the pre-Gary White side that crumbled once they conceded a goal regardless if they were winning or losing at that point. The final day will be interesting and could turn out to be a goal feast with both Hong Kong and North Korea piling on the pressure needed to make sure they get to the final round. 

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