Wed, Nov 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan squeak past Mongolia 2-1

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Players from North Korea, white, and Hong Kong, red, vie for the ball in their EAFF Championship second-round qualifying match at Taipei Municipal Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Photo courtesy of the CTFA Web site

Taiwan scored two early goals then almost threw the game away with numerous wasted chances in the second half to edge out Mongolia 2-1 in their EAFF Championship second-round qualifying match at Taipei Municipal Stadium yesterday.

Taiwan striker Onur Dogan gave the side an early lead with an acrobatic bicycle-kick in the 7th minute, then shot at close-range three minutes later to put the hosts up 2-0.

While Taiwan could not seem to capitalize on numerous opportunities in front of the net, Mongolia midfielder Norjmoo Tsedenbal smashed a long drive from outside the box in the 62nd minute to make it 2-1.

Taiwan’s Will Donkin had two excellent chances late in the game, finding himself alone inside the box, but he misfired both times.

“We dominated the game, but could not kill off with another goal,” Taiwan head coach Wang Chia-chung said. “Our side were unlucky with their finish and the defense were disorganized at times, so we will have to work on that for the next game.”

In a clash between the group favorites, Hong Kong held North Korea to a scoreless draw, as neither side could seem find the net.

In the sixth minute, Hong Kong striker James McKee took a shot inside the box, but hit the side-netting. North Korean midfielder Kim Yong-il blasted a volley in the 15th minute, testing Hong Kong goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, but Yapp made the save.

Late in the first half, midfielder Xu Deshuai fired a shot that eluded North Korea goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk, but the ball bounced off the post, ending any danger.

North Korea had the best chances to score in the second half, with forward Rim Kwang-hyok’s free kick and midfielder Kim’s volley coming closest, but both shots hit the bar.

“We came under pressure most of the game, but had regrouped to play better in the second half,” Hong Kong head coach Gary White said. “North Korea is a very good team and it is a good result for us to earn a draw.”

“This was a key game for us, but our players were nervous and did not seize opportunities in front of goal,” North Korea head coach Kim Yong-jun said. “We made some mistakes and our players were disappointed by the result.”

The Taiwan women’s team concluded their victorious run of Group A qualifying matches for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation Women’s Olympic tournament by hammering the Philippines 5-0 in Bangkok, enabling them to advance to the second round of qualifiers.

They started the tournament with two big triumphs last week, thrashing Tajikistan 9-0 and then Mongolia 9-0.

They hit double digits on Sunday, trouncing Singapore 10-0, before wrapping up their winning streak with the five-goal conquest of the Philippines yesterday evening.

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