Sun, 15 Sep 2019

Anthem boos as protest-hit Hong Kong slump to Iran

News24
11 Sep 2019, 04:13 GMT+10

Hong Kong - Hong Kong fans booed their own national anthem and sang in protest against Beijing's rule as months of political unrest spilled onto the football pitch in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Iran on Tuesday.

"I think football is the most peaceful way to express our demands," Christopher Chung, a 22-year-old fan, told AFP.

It failed to galvanise the hosts, however, as goals from Sardar Azmoun and Karim Ansarifard gave heavyweights Iran victory in their first competitive game under ex-Belgium boss Marc Wilmots.

Hong Kong occasionally threatened on the break but the game was beyond them when Ansarifard knocked in Iran's second goal nine minutes after the break, cashing in on Jahanbakhsh's strong run down the right.

In Yangon, Porto midfielder Shoya Nakajima and Salzburg's Takumi Minamino were on target as Japan began their qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Myanmar.

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