Asian Qualifiers: Macau 1-0 Sri Lanka
Zhuhai: Macau will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification tie against Sri Lanka on Tuesday after a solitary goal from Filipe Duarte earned Long Cho Leng’s side a slim advantage over the South Asians on Thursday.
Duarte scored seven minutes into the second half for Macau, who were forced to play the game at the Zhuhai Sports Center Stadium in neighbour Zhuhai due to ongoing refurbishment work at their regular Estadio Campo Desportivo home.
The unfamiliar surroundings, however, did little to dampen the resolve of the 2016 AFC Solidarity Cup runners-up, who edged a tightly-fought encounter against Asia’s lowest ranked men’s national team.
See also :
However, it was Sri Lanka’s Kavindu Ishan who went closest to opening the scoring five minutes before the break when his well-struck rising volley from outside the area flew just over the bar, leaving the midfielder punching the air in frustration.
Neither side had fashioned a clear-cut opening in the preceding 40 minutes, with Sri Lanka’s Niresh Sundararaj and Harsha Fernando doing little to trouble Macau goalkeeper Ho Man-fai with their long-range attempts.
Duarte was off target with his header at the other end while Nikki Torrao should have done better than send his shot over the bar after Lam Ka-seng’s pace allowed him to find space behind the Sri Lanka defence before crossing to his skipper.
Kavindu was on target again soon after the restart, only for Ho to pluck the ball out of the air, and by the seventh minute of the half Macau were in front.
The Sri Lankan defence only half-cleared Lam Ka-seng’s corner allowing Pang Chi-hang to dribble into the area before sending in a low cross that was eventually turned in by Duarte from close range.
Torrao almost doubled Macau’s lead five minutes later when his curling strike from just outside the area was marginally the wrong side of the top corner while Kavindu and Dilip Kurukulasuriyage both threatened for Sri Lanka, but to no avail.
Recommended Stories :