1985 China v Hong Kong football match

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19 May Incident
Event 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round
Hong Kong qualifies for the final round of qualification.
Date 19 May 1985
Venue Workers Stadium, Beijing
Referee Melvyn D'Souza (India)
Attendance 80,000

China v Hong Kong was a 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification match played on 19 May 1985, noteworthy in that the surprise result caused deep dissatisfaction and hooliganism among Mainland Chinese football fans, leading to the match being immortalized as the May 19 Incident or 5.19 incident (Chinese: 五一九事件). Due to this controversy, the match rates as one of the most notable matches in the rivalry of the China PR national football team and the Hong Kong national football team.

The game resulted in a 2–1 win to Hong Kong, with goals from Cheung Chi Tak in the 19th minute and Ku Kam Fai in the 60th-minute. Indian referee Melvyn D'Souza officiated the match, which was described by commentators at the time as being played in an unusually intense (for an Asian World Cup qualifier) manner. Disgruntled home fans rioted in Workers Stadium after the match, and People's Armed Police were needed to restore order.


China were the runners-up of the 1984 AFC Asian Cup and was by far the strongest team in its 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification AFC Zone B first round group. China and Hong Kong had already met earlier in the tournament, playing out a scoreless draw in Hong Kong. Heading into the final match, however, China was the leader of the group.

Table before the match[edit]

After 12 May 1985, the group 3 table was the follow:

Cannot qualify
# Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  China PR 5 4 1 0 22 0 +22 9
2  Hong Kong 5 4 1 0 17 1 +16 9
3  Macau 6 2 0 4 4 15 −11 4
4  Brunei 6 0 0 6 2 29 −27 0

If China at least draws with Hong Kong then China will qualify for next round.

If Hong Kong wins against China then Hong Kong will qualify for next round.




19 May 1985
China PR  1–2  Hong Kong
Li Hui Goal 31' Cheung Chi Tak Goal 19'
Ku Kam Fai Goal 60'
Workers Stadium, Beijing
Attendance: 80,000
Referee: Melvyn J. Victor D'Souza (India)
China PR
Hong Kong
GK 1 Lu Jianren
RB 2 Zhu Bo
CB 4 Jia Xiuquan
CB 3 Lin Lefeng
LB 2 Lü Hongxiang
RM 10 Lin Qiang
CM 6 Li Hui YC 64'
LM 8 Wang Huiliang Substituted off 70'
RF 11 Gu Guangming
CF 9 Yang Chaohui
LF 7 Zuo Shusheng (c) Substituted off 38'
FW Li Huajun Substituted in 38'
MF Zhao Dayu Substituted in 70'
Zeng Xuelin
GK Chan Wan Ngok
RB Cheung Chi Tak
CWP Leung Sui Wing (c)
CB Lai Lo Kau
LB Yu Kwok Sum YC 21'
RM Wong Kwok On
CM Ku Kam Fai
CM Wu Kwok Hung
LM Chan Fat Chi Substituted off 73'
SS Lau Wing Yip
CF Wan Chi Keung Substituted off 85'
DF Tam Yu Wah Substituted in 73'
DF Philip Reis Substituted in 85'
Kwok Ka Ming



Qualified directly for the next round
# Team Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
1  Hong Kong 11 6 5 1 0 19 2 +17
2  China PR 9 6 4 1 1 23 2 +21
3  Macau 4 6 2 0 4 4 15 −11
4  Brunei 0 6 0 0 6 2 29 −27

Hong Kong qualifies for the next round after the dramatic upset victory where they would fall to the Japan national football team 5 – 1 in a two legged home and away matchup.

Japan advanced to the Zone B Final Round, 5–1 on aggregate score.

For China, the result represented another frustration in their quest to qualify for their first FIFA World Cup; They had lost to the New Zealand national football team by the same score in the deciding playoff match of the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification. It would not be until the 2002 FIFA World Cup that China would finally qualify for their first FIFA World Cup.

Hooliganism incident[edit]

This match also led "the first football hooliganism ever in the People's Republic of China's history".[1] Disgruntled home fans rioted in Workers Stadium after the match, and People's Armed Police were needed to restore order. 127 people were arrested in Beijing.[2] Zeng Xuelin, manager of the Chinese national team, and Li Fenglou, chairman of the Chinese Football Association, both resigned after the incident.