Chan Yuen-ting suffers embarrassment as she makes football history

  • Rob Swan
FBL-ASIA-C1-GUANGZHOU-HONG KONG

You may not be aware but Chan Yuen-ting made football history earlier this week.

The 28-year-old became the first woman to coach in an inter-continental football competition by leading out Hong Kong side Eastern Sports Club against the Chinese outfit Guangzhou Evergrande in the Asian Champions League.

The 28-year-old took the reins at the Mong Kok Stadium last season and inspired Eastern to the Hong Kong Premier League title, losing just one of her first 15 matches in charge of the club.

In the process, she became the first woman to lead a men’s football team to a domestic, top-flight championship.

That’s some going - especially when you take into consideration her young age. Chan doesn’t turn 30 until October 2018.

Her history-making match didn't go well...

On Wednesday she led out Eastern in the biggest match of his managerial career so far - and one of the biggest matches in the club’s history.

Their opponents, Guangzhou Evergrande, are managed by the Brazilian World Cup winner Luiz Felipe Scolari and boasts several household names in their squad including the Colombian striker Jackson Martinez and Brazil international Paulinho.

Eastern also have a few Brazilians in their squad, although nobody you’re likely to have heard of.

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Their number nine is a Spaniard called Manuel Bleda who spent time with Levante B between 2010 and 2012 but failed to force his way into the first team.

So, that outlines the gulf in class between the two teams.

Eastern were always up against it, although they shot themselves in the foot twice during the second half.

Wong Tsz Ho and Wong Chi Chung were both sent off, in the third and 34th minutes respectively, and Scolari’s side went into the half-time interval with a three-goal advantage.

Guangzhou Evergrande ended up scoring four more times after the break to record an emphatic 7-0 win over Chan’s team.

Chan: We've learned a valuable lesson

“We have learned a very valuable lesson today,” Chan was quoted as saying by Fox Soccer. “Of course losing the game is a very big disappointment, but we learned we need to adjust our mentality as soon as possible [to compete in the Champions League].

FBL-HKG-CHAN-COACH

“After the red card everything changed, all our tactics and plans had to be changed. And in a competition like this the pace is quite different from that we encounter in Hong Kong … it’s our debut and naturally we’ll make mistakes.”

Scolari: The red cards made a big difference

Her opposite number, however, told her not to take the result too badly because of the two red cards.

AFC Champions League - Guangzhou Evergrande FC v Pohang Steelers

“I comforted her and told her this match cannot be a real evidence for your ability,” the former Chelsea manager commented. “This is quite different when within such a short time you have two red cards like this – you can’t take it seriously.”

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