Harmon, Guam – Hong Kong went undefeated in five matches in the EAFF U18 Youth Tournament after edging Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the final day of competition at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.
In a highly anticipated match up between the tournament’s top two teams, Hong Kong’s Chung Wai Keung started his team on the right foot after netting a goal in the 7th minute of play. Chinese Taipei later leveled the match in the 22nd minute on a goal from forward Liu Sheng Yi.
Just seven minutes later, Chung managed to get around the defense of Chinese Taipei’s Jiang Cheng Yu and take a shot on goal. Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Tsai Shuo Che attempted to bump the ball out of the goal, but the ball hit the crossbar and bounced into the goal for the eventual game winner.
In other matches, Guam’s Edwin Wong scored his third goal in five matches against DPR Korea in the 64th minute following up on his first shot that was blocked by opposing goalkeeper Ri Hyon Su. With the momentum building for the Guam side, the home team attempted more plays to the goal, but could not overcome the three-goal deficit before the final whistle. DPR Korea secured the tournament’s third-place spot with the win and Guam finished in fourth.
Macau achieved its first wins and scored its first goals in the tournament after defeating Northern Mariana Islands 4-0. Mok Koi Hei broke the scoring ice with a goal from the center in the 35th minute. Teammates Chu Kai Wang, Cheong Ka Chon and Lo Kuan Io followed suit with goals of their own for the final score.
Following Guam’s match against DPR Korea, Hong Kong was honored as first-ever EAFF U18 Youth Tournament champions during an awards ceremony on the second floor lanai at GFA. Additionally, Hong Kong’s Yiu Ho Ming was distinguished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals in five matches and also as the tournament Most Valuable Player.
The recently concluded EAFF U18 Youth Tournament was staged in part to assist the East Asian region teams prepare for the AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers.
Many of Guam’s U18 national team players will move on to represent Guam at the AFC U19 Championship Group G qualifier, set for October in Surabaya, Indonesia and others who still qualify through age will also play in the AFC U16 Championship Group H qualifier in Vientiane, Laos next month. In Indonesia, Guam’s U19 team will face Korea Republic, Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines. In Laos, Guam’s U16 national team will play against Korea Republic, Laos, Malaysia and Brunei.
Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei were drawn into the same AFC U19 Championship Qualifier group and will face Australia, Vietnam and Mongolia. DPR Korea will play in Group H against Thailand, Singapore and Brunei. Macau will play in Group I against Japan, China and Malaysia.
The Northern Mariana Islands will not be sending a team to the AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers, but will participate in the AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers. NMI will play in Group I against China, DPR Korea and Myanmar.