Hong Kong success....

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Picture thanks to Jessie Pang 
The international break is over and in Hong Kong, despite one point from six confidence in the side is growing. This comes after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Cambodia was followed by a narrow 2-0 defeat against Iran. 

Starting with boos

After the Cambodia match, the Iran game began with boos from the home support. This was, however, not down to the side's performances with boos used to drown out the Chinese national anthem that is played before every Hong Kong match.

There were then many chants of protest such as “Glory to Hong Kong,” a separatist song urging a struggle against the rest of China.

While fans chanted “fight for freedom” and “revolution of our times.” One person carried a blue poster that read “Hong Kong is not China.”

Away from the protests in which much is written, we will now go to football. After all, this was a match involving Hong Kong against Asia's top side. 

A strong defence 

The match started as you would expect with Hong Kong on the back foot, but the 13,942 inside the stadium continued to support their country.

It took till the 23rd minute for Iran to break the deadlock with a goal from Sardar Azmoun of Zenit St Petersburg. This came as Iran's star player reacted first to a ball in the box with the Hong Kong keeper Yapp Hung Fai beaten after a string of saves.

Although just seven minutes earlier a cross from our favourite Stephen Gee whistled, past the hosts' attacker Law Tsz-Chun.

Despite conceding the rear action from Hong Kong continued as the side played seven players who have featured as defenders for their club. Despite all that the number one side in Asia could throw as their hosts the halftime score read Hong Kong 0 - 1 Iran.

Not a bad first 45 minutes for Mixu's men who had just drawn with 170th ranked Cambodia a few days previously. The pats on the back after the decisive first half had to stop though on 54 minutes when Iran made it two.

This time the goal came from Karim Ansarifard who plays for Al Sailiya in the Qatar top flight. Although he did play 12 matches for Nottingham Forest in the English second tier last season.

His goal came from a strong run down the wing with a pullback for Ansarifard to strike home from six yards out.

That was to be the only other goal Iran would get as the host's defence held firm. It was to be a positive result overall, and if they continue like this, they will pick up wins. 

Group C

Team MP W D L F A GD Pts
Bahrain 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4
Iran 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
Iraq 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Cambodia 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 1
Hong Kong 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1

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