MAZIAR KOUHYAR'S Afghanistan were beaten 2-1 by Hong Kong in their 2023 Asian Cup qualifying opener.

The York City winger played all 90 minutes for Afghanistan but was unable to inspire his nation to a victory in Group 'D' at West Bengal's Salt Lake Stadium.

Two goals in the space of three minutes, from Wai Wong and Matthew Elliot Wing Kai Orr, during the first half gave Hong Kong the edge, with Farshad Noor's 81th-minute goal proving to be a consolation strike.

Afghanistan have two remaining qualifying matches, against India on Saturday (4pm) and with Cambodia on Tuesday (12.30pm), requiring at least a top-two finish in the group for a potential spot in next year's Asian Cup.