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China beats Hong Kong, China in East Asian Football Championship men's tournament

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-07-28 09:39
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Team China's Tan Long (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday in their closing match of the East Asian championship in Japan. Tan's strike-a fine curling effort in the 67th minute-earned China a 1-0 win and proved to be the team's only goal of the four-team tournament following a 3-0 defeat to South Korea and 0-0 draw with Japan. The lackluster performances throughout the championship underlined the gap in quality between China and Asia's best sides. REUTERS

TOKYO -- China concluded the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Football Championship men's tournament with a 1-0 win over Hong Kong, China on Wednesday, while Japan dominated South Korea 3-0 to win the title.

China and Hong Kong, China failed to pick up a victory from the previous two rounds, as China collected one point while Hong Kong, China suffered back-to-back fiascos against Japan and South Korea.

China had a progressive start as it almost broke the deadlock in the 11th minute, but Jiang Shenglong's header was cleared off the line.

Hong Kong, China managed to weather that early siege and once the tempo and intensity of China's press dropped, the game was transformed as Wong Wai of Hong Kong, China blasted it over the bar while Matthew Orr forced a great save out of China's goalkeeper Han Jiaqi.

The goal came in the 67th minute when Tan Long hit in a first-time strike from a goalmouth melee after the Hong Kong players failed to make their clearance.

In a desperate bid to avoid another defeat, Hong Kong, China pushed hard for an equaliser in the closing minutes but failed to beat Han who had a great performance to keep the scoreline down.

China finished the tournament with four points, while Hong Kong, China suffered three consecutive defeats.

In a later fixture, South Korea held Japan to a goalless first half, but collapsed after the break as Japan staged a show to crack the Taegeuk Warriors 3-0, thanks to goals from Yuki Soma, Sho Sasaki and Shuto Machino.

Japan ranked first with the victory to win the tournament for the second time after its first crown in 2013.

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