Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) have had to postpone their trip to Hong Kong to play in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifiers.
The AFC on Monday delayed the AFC Cup East Zone Group J qualifier matches in Hong Kong — which were to be held from Friday next week to May 20 — until June 23 to 29 due to international travel and quarantine challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As defending champions of the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL), Tainan TSG are representing Taiwan in Group J against Mongolia’s Athletic 220, and Hong Kong’s Eastern Long Lions and Lee Man.
Photo courtesy of CTFA
Tainan TSG players were originally to get vaccinated and travel to Hong Kong this week, and were given a bye for three rounds of the TFPL.
However, as the situation has changed, league officials are meeting with other teams to schedule new games for them.
Despite the disruption, Tainan TSG are still on top of the TFPL leaderboard with 16 points from five wins and one draw, with Taipower closely behind with 14 points from four wins and two draws.
In Sunday’s three league matches, Hang Yuan FC played their first match against CPC FC this season.
No one scored in the first half in Yilan City, although Chilean midfielder Matias Godoy came close twice for CPC.
Godoy received a cross, firing a shot at close range in the 13th minute, but was denied by Hang Yuan goalkeeper Lai Po-lun.
In the 25th minute, Godoy had Lai beaten, but the ball hit the post and bounced away.
It was a tense affair until the 80th minute, when Haitian defender Judelin Aveska intercepted a high cross and headed the ball to striker Huang Yu-wei, who volleyed it home for Hang Yuan.
The hosts doubled their lead six minutes later, when midfielder Fang Li-peng took a pass and fired the ball into the back of the net with a low drive.
In the final minutes, CPC striker Cheng Chun-hsien slotted the ball past Lai, taking the score to 2-1, but Hang Yuan held on for the win.
In a clash between the league’s two bottom teams, Flight Skywalkers took on Land Home-NTUS in New Taipei City.
Both teams displayed strong defense, but their attackers wasted several good opportunities.
In added time, Skywalkers striker Lin Wei-chieh picked up a long pass and lobbed the ball over the NTUS goalkeeper for his first goal of the year.
The 1-0 win was the Skywalkers’ first of the season. They are now level with NTUS on four points.
In Sunday’s other encounter, Taichung Futuro hosted Tatung FC, but the two sides had to settle for a 0-0 draw, gaining just one point each.
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