The Hong Kong national football team has reached the last four of the Asian Games men's football tournament in history, and will compete with Japan for a place in the final on Wednesday (4th).
What is the Asian Games Men's Football Tournament? What teams are participating? What players are on each team? Where can I watch? This article introduces you.

Asian Games Men's Football Match Information:

Round of 4: October 10,
4:6 p.m. Hong Kong v Japan (Uptown Sports Center) - HOY TV 00 live broadcast, 77:8 p.m. South Korea v Uzbekistan (Yellow Dragon Sports Center) - HOY TV 00 live

Medal Match: October 10,
7:4 p.m. Bronze Medal Match (Uptown Sports Center) - Live information TBD 00:8
p.m. Gold Medal Battle (Yellow Dragon Sports Center) - Live information TBD

Hangzhou Asian Games: Hong Kong reached the last four of the men's football tournament. (Profile photo/Photo by Yuen Zhihao)

Asian Games Men's Football Tournament Format:

The tournament is not a FIFA and AFC competition, and has had an age limit since 2002, generally "23 years old or below".

Since the Hangzhou Asian Games were originally scheduled to be held in 2022, the birth date limit for participating players was "January 1999, 1 or later", and after the postponement of the event, this date will remain unchanged, so the age limit is "1 years old or below" in disguise; In addition, each team can also use 24 "wild card players" regardless of age limit, commonly known as "over-age players", and the previous champion South Korea team used this quota to send Son Heung-min to participate.

Son Heung-min led the South Korean men's team to gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. (Profile photo/Photo by Li Zetong)

Due to the age limit and the fact that the tournament is not part of FIFA's international period, the club is not obliged to release people to the representative team, and many players under the age of 23 are actually the main players of the big country, not all teams will send the most elite players to the Asian Games, most of them aim to train young players. The exception is South Korea, where South Korean men are exempted from 18 months of military service by winning a gold medal at the Asian Games, and often send young well-known stars to compete, including Paris Saint-Germain winger Lee Gang-jin and Stega midfielder Jung Youying.

Li Gangren is the focus of the Hangzhou Asian Games men's football team. (Profile photo/Photo by Zhao Zijin)

Participating teams:

This year, 23 teams were originally scheduled to participate, divided into 6 groups to play the group stage, the top two in each group directly qualified for the round of 16, and the other 4 best 3rd places qualified, and after entering the round of 16, it was all a knockout match, and the event had a bronze medal battle, which was contested by two teams in the top 4, which means that whether the Hong Kong team won or lost against Japan, it will play another medal match on Saturday (7th).

Teams include China, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Iran, Thailand, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Chinese Taipei, India, Mongolia, Kuwait, as well as Syria and Afghanistan, which withdrew from the war.

Hangzhou Asian Games men's football team, Hong Kong team eliminated Palestine in the round of 16 to advance. (Profile photo/Photo by Yuen Zhihao)

Hong Kong's path to the cut:

In the group stage, Hong Kong, which is in Group C, the two opponents of the same group, Syria and Afghanistan, both announced their withdrawal before the match, leaving only Hong Kong and Uzbekistan in the group, which were the first to qualify without playing in disguise, and the two teams were arranged to meet twice at the end of the tournament to determine the first and second place, and the Hong Kong team lost 0:1 and 1:2 respectively to Uzbekistan, and qualified second.

Group Stage (Group C): Hong Kong lost to Uzbekistan 0:1, 1:2, second
place in the round of 16: Hong Kong defeated Palestine
1:0 and 8: Hong Kong defeated Iran 1:0

Hangzhou Asian Games men's team: Hong Kong beat Iran's squad in the round of eight. (Profile photo/Photo by Yuen Zhihao)

Hong Kong squad of players:

Goalkeepers: Ng Wai Chien (Kwan Chung South), Pang Cheuk-hee (Kam Feng), Tse Ka Wing (Tai Po) Defenders: Lee Yi Kai* (Standard Rangers), Tsang Yi Hang (Hong Kong U23), Chow Tsz Chien (Hong Kong Club), Chan Kai Pak (Kwan Chung South), Lam Lok Kan, Yip Cheuk-man (North District), Alex Cho (Tai Po)

Midfielders: Lam Yanting (Standard Rangers), Wong Hao-kwan, Yu Jae-yan (Oriental), Cheng Jinhong (Hong Kong U23), Zhao Yuwu (Kwan Chung South), Wu Jinming* (Li Wen) Forwards: Sun Mingqian (Oriental), An Yongjia* (Guangxi Pingguo Haga), Lau Ka Chiu (Hong Kong U23), Kan Ka Heng (Hong Kong Club), Poon Pui Hin (Kitty Chee), Zhang Xiyan (Li Wen)* are wild card (over-age)


The Hong Kong team has three over-age players, including striker An Yongjia, who has dropped from the China League One and is popular with mainland fans, standard ranger defender Lee Yikai and Lee Man midfielder Wu Jinming.

In addition to the three, among the other players under the age of 24, there are five players born in 5, the rest are mostly players born in 1999 or later, and the youngest is Zhou Ziqian, who was born in 2001; Among the age-appropriate players, there are also many who have recently been selected for the senior team (Grand Gang Foot), including goalkeeper Tse Ka Wing who performed bravely, and strikers who scored against Iran, Pan Peixuan, Zhang Xiyan and Sun Mingqian. Except for Ahn & Young, the rest of the players are currently in the Hong Kong Super League.

In this battle, Kan Ka Heng and Poon Pei Xuan are both suspended for accumulating yellow cards.

Hangzhou Asian Games men's football team: Pan Peixuan accumulated a full yellow card, and the round of 4 needs to be suspended.

Japan squad roster:

Goalkeepers: Kazuki Fujita (Tochigi SC), Yuma Obata (Vegatai Sendai), Daiki Yamada (Okayama Green Pheasant)

Defenders: Yama Daichi (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Yuto Okuda (Momoyama Gakuin University), Shibuki Imano (Hosei University), Haruya Baba (Gonzado, Sapporo, Hokkaido), Shinato Yoshida (Kaya Sports University), Daiki Sekine (Takushoku University), Kenta Nemoto (University of Circulation and Economics).

Midfielders: Yuta Matsumura (Kashima Antlers), Grêmio Novorizontino, Keiyo Sato (Werder Bremen), Jungto Shigemi (Fukuoka University), Teppei Taniuchida (Kyoto Immortal Birds), Sho Yamauchi (University of Tsukuba), Jun Nishikawa (Tosu Sandstone), Yota Omi (Niigata Swan), Shiro Kakuang (University of Tsukuba), Shota Hino (Takushoku University)

Forward: Jun Saigawa (Oita Sangami), UCHINO Kotaro (University of Tsukuba)

Hangzhou Asian Games Men's Soccer Team: Many of the Japanese squad are college footballers, but most of the Japanese college players are already specially designated players of the Nippon Professional Football Club and have also decided to join after graduation. (Hangzhou Asian Games)

Japan did not use over-age players, and in preparation for the Paris Olympics, this year's Asian Games featured players born in 2001 and 2002, with the youngest being Kotaro Uchino born in 2004. Although 9 of them play in the university league, many of Japan's college football players are already players who are already Japanese professional football clubs - except for defender Kenta Nemoto, the remaining 8 in the Asian Games lineup have become "specially designated players" of the Japanese professional football club through the "special designated players" system of cooperation between the Japan Football Association and the Japanese professional football club, and are eligible to play in local professional competitions, most of them are "contract players" of the Japanese professional football club, and have been implemented after graduation in 2024 or 2025. will officially become a full-time player of your club.

The Japanese team was the silver medalist of the last Asian Games, and although they did not send first-line players in the U23 echelon, they were able to lose in the final against South Korea, which had Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan and Kim Min-ya, in the final until overtime, and their combat power should not be underestimated.

Japanese striker Kotaro Uchino is temporarily one of the top scorers in the team, scoring a total of three goals in four games. (Hangzhou Asian Games)

Under-23 Head-to-Head Record:

Hong Kong has rarely met Japan in recent years at the U23 level – the last time they met at the U23 level was in the 2021 U23 Asian Cup qualifier, when Hong Kong lost 0-4. The last time was the 2013 East Asian Games men's football tournament, when the two armies were tied 0-0.

The last time Hong Kong scored against Japan in the Under-23 was in the 2009 East Asian Games gold medal match, when Hong Kong was one goal behind at half-time, equalized by Chan Siu-ki, and then kicked to win by shooting <> yards, becoming the popular East Asian Games gold medal match.

If you count the echelon competitions, the last time Hong Kong FC broke through the door of Japan was in the group stage of the qualifying stage of the Sydney Olympic Games in June 1999, when Hong Kong lost 6-1 at home to Japan, and it was Pan Wenjun, the father of Pan Peixuan, who scored against Iran.

Hong Kong and Japan played each other in the U23 tournament, the most classic being the 2009 East Asian Games men's gold medal match. (LCSD)

Other relevant data :

1. Hong Kong FC reached the last four after beating Iran, which is the best result of the Hong Kong national football team in the history of the Asian Games

2. The last time the Hong Kong football team beat Japan in a senior tournament was the Merdeka Cup in 1975, when Hong Kong won 2-0. The last time they were unbeaten against Japan was at the 2000 Lunar New Year Cup, when Hong Kong played Japan 0-0 at home.

3. In terms of senior team, the last time Hong Kong scored in Japan was in the 1998 Dynasty Cup, when the tournament was held in Japan, and Hong Kong was scored by Tam Bashi, and finally lost 1:5. In the following seven meetings, Hong Kong failed to score against Japan.

4. The Republic of China won the men's gold medal at the Asian Games twice in 1954 and 1958, when it was played with Hong Kong players

5. The most won Asian Games men's football team in the history of the South Korean team, which has won gold five times; The South Korean team is also the last two gold medalists, and this time it is striving for three consecutive championships.

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