Fantastic experience, says Hong Kong's hat-trick hero Wong
Tabriz: Hong Kong produced a phenomenal performance against Islamic Republic of Iran in their opening Group A tie and despite the East Asians falling to a 7-3 defeat, the experience was priceless, said hat-trick hero Wong Wai Kwok.
Hong Kong entered the Finals as a replacement for Saudi Arabia following their withdrawal from the tournament, and many would have assumed defending champions IR Iran would cruise to an easy victory, but Chan Fei Tat’s side displayed exemplary fighting spirit.
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“There are a lot of things we can learn from them (Iran) and although there is a huge gap between Iran and Hong Kong, we will still try our best to reach that level,” Wong said in an interview with the-AFC.com.
“I think Iran are really quick, and maybe that’s because they are playing at a professional level with daily training.”
After trailing by three goals, Wong scored twice in the first half and added a third in the 36th minute to become the first player to score a hat-trick in the 2019 edition.
“Before the match, I didn’t even imagine I would score a single goal but whatever happened tonight was a miracle, especially against a team like Iran. Definitely a good and unforgettable memory.”
Wong admitted Hong Kong were fatigued in the second half, which caused them to concede four more goals, and he is aiming to focus on his physical fitness.
“I need to improve my physical fitness, because in the first half we were matching up to Iran. Even while defending, we could put pressure on Iran, but in the second half, we couldn’t keep up."
“Besides that, I also need to focus on my individual skills. Like I said, Iran is a fast-paced team, and their preemptive thinking is so clear that they know exactly what they’re doing. So I want to be a better.”
Hong Kong face a must-win game against Afghanistan later on Saturday, where a win would put them back in contention for a knockout stage berth.
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