December 12, 2019 10:54
Korea defeated Hong Kong 2-0 in the opener of the E-1 Football Championship in Busan on Wednesday.
The championship is part of the biennial football tournament organized by the East Asian Football Federation, which features men's and women's teams from four East Asian countries, and runs until Dec. 18.
Hwang In-beom, who plays for Vancouver Whitecaps, scored in the 45th minute and Na Sang-ho of FC Tokyo sealed the victory with a header in the 82nd. Korea managed to win, but overall the Korean footballers had a hard time getting through Hong Kong's heavily offensive presence throughout the match.
Those playing in Europe like Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur were unable to join in the match, because the championship is not part of the FIFA calendar.
Korea, aiming to win its third consecutive victory, will face China on Sunday and Japan on Dec. 18.
Meanwhile, some 50 Hong Kong fans who flew in for the match chanted slogans such as "Free Hong Kong" in support of pro-democracy protests that have roiled Hong Kong in recent months.
According to an official at the Korea Football Association, such acts can be the "subject of a formal complaint" to FIFA, whose regulations prohibit political, religious or racial statements by athletes and players.
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