17 May 2017

AFC POSTPONES DPR KOREA V MALAYSIA ASIAN CUP QUALIFIER




Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided that because of the geo-political tension on the Korean Peninsula the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifying Final Round match between DPR Korea and Malaysia, scheduled for Pyongyang on June 8, 2017 should be postponed.
The game will now be re-scheduled for the next best available FIFA match-day which is Thursday, October 5, 2017.
Although the AFC had proposed on May 8, 2017 that the match – which was already postponed from March 28, 2017 – take place in the DPR Korea capital, recent developments have forced the AFC to reconsider the decision on the grounds of safety and security.
The AFC will closely monitor the safety and security position in coming months as well as the AFC Cup match between Kigwancha SC (DPR Korea) against Erchim FC (Mongolia) to be played May 31, 2017 as well as the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers - Group G to be hosted in Pyongyang, DPR Korea from July 19-23, 2017.
After those matches, the AFC will make a decision of the venue for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier on October 5, 2017.

http://www.the-afc.com/media-releases/afc-postpones-dpr-korea-v-malaysia-asian-cup-qualifier

4.25 SC WIN TO SEAL SPOT IN AFC CUP KNOCKOUT PHASE

Ulaanbataar: Kim Yu-song scored a hat-trick as DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC confirmed their place in the next phase of the 2017 AFC Cup on Wednesday with a comfortable 5-0 win over Mongolia’s Erchim that guarantees the club Pyongyang top spot in Group I.
Victory moves 4.25 SC onto eight points from four games so far and the Pak Myung-hun-coached team cannot be surpassed at the summit by Kigwancha due to 4.25’s superior head-to-head record over their compatriots.

Dulguun Tumurbaatar deflected Kim’s shot past his own goalkeeper midway through the first half to give 4.25 the lead before An Il-bom doubled his side’s advantage from close range five minutes before the break.

Kim scored a second 12 minutes after the restart when he lifted the ball over the advancing Ariunbold Batsaikhan and, with 21 minutes to go, Ro Hyong-jin converted from the penalty spot. Kim side-footed home his third of the day and ninth of the competition with five minutes remaining to complete the rout and send 4.25 SC through to the Inter-zonal Play-off Semi-finals.



http://www.the-afc.com/afc-cup-2017/match-report/competition/821/season/2017/matchid/906700

04 May 2017

AFC CUP 2017 - GROUP I: KIGWANCHA SC 2-2 4.25 SC

Pyongyang: Kim Yu-song's sixth goal in three 2017 AFC Cup matches saw 4.25 SC salvage a point in injury time after they came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with fellow DPR Korean side Kigwancha SC in Group I on Wednesday.
Having played out a 1-1 draw two weeks ago in the first of two Pyongyang derbies, Kigwancha went ahead on 35 minutes through forward Rim Kwang-hyok before substitute Ri Un-il doubled the lead just a minute after he entered the field on the hour-mark.
Captain An Il-bom replied for 4.25 SC on 70 minutes to halve the deficit but defender An Song-il's sending off four minutes into added time looked to have ended any hopes of a come-back.   
However, there was a final twist in the tale as Kim had the final word on the 98th minute as the group remains alive with the two DPR Koreans level-pegging at the top. 
Mongolia's Erchim FC, five points behind but with two games to play against both Kigwancha and 4.25 SC, also retain a slim chance of a place in the Zonal Semi-finals.
http://www.the-afc.com/afc-cup-2017/afc-cup-2017-group-i-kigwancha-sc-2-2-425-sc

09 April 2017

RACE TO REACH JORDAN 2018 HEATING UP IN GROUP B

Pyongyang: The race to claim a place amongst Asia’s elite appears to be well and truly heating up in Pyongyang as the AFC Women’s Asia Cup Jordan 2018 Group B qualifying campaign reaches its final stretch.
Following their failure to secure the all-important three points against rivals Korea Republic in Friday’s historic encounter, DPR Korea coach Kim Kwang-min has rallied his charges to refocus as they prepare for a top-of-the-table clash against an Uzbekistan side which has registered just one point less than the home side.
“It is important for us to get a good start. When you look at the last match, I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to set an example, to keep our focus, early on in the game. They (Uzbekistan) still have a chance to qualify so they will want to get the victory, but we need to rely on our abilities and more importantly, mentally, we need to remain focus to get the job done throughout the 90 minutes,” Kim said.

DPR Korea’s opponents on Sunday have been growing in confidence after registering two opening victories, their most recent of which – a 7-1 thumping of India – helped them cement second place in the group standings.
Undeterred by the prospect of facing the two best ranked teams – DPR Korea and Korea Republic – in his remaining two matches, Uzbekistan coach Babakulov Sherali acknowledges that his troops will need to deploy a different approach against the hosts.
“Yes, you will see a totally different football match against DPR Korea. Of course, we have our main goal and we need to reach this goal. We want to qualify for Jordan, so for us the two next matches will be crucial,” explained Sherali.
“DPR Korea play 4-4-2. They are very well organised and disciplined. But we have been studying them very closely. We have been watching videos of them, back home and from the matches here, so we are well prepared.”
When quizzed if his side will adopt a more defensive approach, the 33-year-old replied: “I want to emphasise that we play football, real football; we don’t believe in time-wasting or play-acting, we will play real football to show the DPR Korea team and their fans what Uzbekistan football is about.”
In the other Group B match, Korea Republic head coach Yoon Deok-yeo has called on his players to put their celebrations on hold, insisting that there is still plenty of work ahead as he looks to mastermind a dominant victory over Hong Kong to strengthen their chances of qualification.
“Hong Kong showed their ability against DPR Korea and Uzbekistan. It won’t be an easy game so we need to stick to our game plan. As I said before, every goal in this competition is important so we need to keep our focus to complete the task.
“Getting the goals is our main objective right now for the next two matches. We know the high stakes but we are confident of getting the job done.”
Despite her side now nnot being able to qualify, Hong Kong coach Chan Shuk Chi wants her side to relish the opportunity of playing world-class opponents.   
“It won’t be an easy match. Korea Republic are a very organised team with many professionals, playing in either local or overseas leagues. As a unit, they are creative and aggressive and individually their players have excellent technique. 
“I have seen an improvement in our players with each match, and I want to see us continue developing on Sunday. We can only improve if we play against the better teams and Korea Republic are one of the best teams in the world.”
Photos: DPR Korea Football Association

http://www.the-afc.com/womens-asian-cup-2018/race-to-reach-jordan-2018-heating-up-in-group-b


CAPACITY CROWD WITNESSES HISTORIC DPR KOREA - KOREA REPUBLIC MATCH



Pyongyang: A capacity 42,500 fans filled the Kim Il Sung Stadium, in Pyongyang on Friday for the historic 1-1 draw between DPR Korea and Korea Republic in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 Group B qualifier.
While matches between the two neighbouring countries tend to generate world-wide interest, this was the first time in history the two women sides played in DPR Korea. Adding to the mix, the Group B tie was made even more significant with a coveted place among Asia’s elite in the Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 on the line.
“There was no way I was going to miss this match. For us here in DPR Korea, this was one of the biggest matches in our history,” said 72-year-old, Kim-ho, a lifelong DPR Korea fan.
“I have three great memories of DPR Korea football. The first was the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the other was the 2010 FIFA World Cup when our men’s team qualified, and the last was when our women’s team beat Korea Republic in the East Asian Games in 2013. Tonight may not be a World Cup, it is just a qualifier for the Asian Cup, but I have another great memory right here in Pyongyang.”
The Local Organising Committee (LOC), formed largely by DPR Korea Football Association administrators, government officials, local specialists and volunteers, were pleased with the organisation of the high-profile match. Yu Yong-mok, Local General Coordinator for the Group B qualifiers attributed the LOC’s success to the close integration of efforts between the various standing committees, which include security, match operations and spectator management.
“We wanted to host the qualifiers for two reasons. Firstly, the people in our country love their football so these qualifiers give them an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of national team. Secondly, we want to continue to develop football in our country and the qualifiers help to strengthen our national team.
“Working together, I believe that we can be proud with how we have managed the qualifiers so far, but as in all things, I believe we will keep improving as the competition continues.” 
With the just the solitary spot guaranteeing qualification, the media frenzy was also evident in the Korea Republic, with nearly a dozen media representatives flying across the border to report on the match.
“It has been 27 years since DPR Korea and Korea Republic last played here but back then it was more of friendly match between the men’s team. It is possible that this was the first international or official match between the two countries, said Jeon Hyeonjin, a reporter from Korea Republic news agency Munhwa Ilbo, who travelled to Pyongyang with a photographer.
“Back home in Korea Republic, there is also an ice-hockey women’s match taking place against DPR Korea so it is fitting that this match is taking place here.”
There is little doubt the rivalry between the two sides added to the sheer quality and intensity over the 90 minutes, but there was also an immense sense of respect shared between the two teams as they exchanged pleasantries and handshakes shortly after the final whistle.
Although the fixture ended in a stalemate, the historic encounter will forever be remembered as the night when the world was spellbound by the women’s game in Asia, made possible by the ever-improving platform the AFC’s competitions presents to prepare the continent’s best to grace the biggest stages.  
Photo: DPR Korea Football Association

http://www.the-afc.com/womens-asian-cup-2018/capacity-crowd-witnesses-historic-dpr-korea-korea-republic-match