13 November 2017


Buriram: Kim Yu-song netted a first-half hat-trick as DPR Korea beat Malaysia 4-1 for the second time in four days to go clear in second spot in Group B of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers at the I-Mobile Stadium in Buriram, Thailand on Monday.
The Koreans had dismissed the challenge of Malaysia 4-1 in Friday’s first match of a double header in neutral Thailand, and it was just as easy second time around for Joern Andersen’s side against a Malaysian team that featured eight changes to the starting lineup.
The only action of note in a frantic opening 10 minutes came when Pak Kwang-ryong’s 25-yard free-kick sailed over Hafizul Hakim’s crossbar in the sixth minute. 
But it was a very familiar looking goal that saw DPR Korea take the lead after just 15 minutes.
Jong Il-gwan’s corner from the left was headed home by Kim (pictured above), the same combination that had put them 2-0 up on Friday.
Five minutes later, DPR Korea went two ahead from another corner. This time, Jong crossed from the right and Pak’s flick-on found Kim, who netted from six yards out. 
Shell-shocked Malaysia struggled to get into the game, and Ri Myong-guk was having a very quiet night in the DPR Korea goal.
Kim struck again just before the half-time whistle to complete his hat-trick as he turned in Sim Hyon-jin’s cross from the right. 
There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the second half as the Koreans were happy to consolidate their lead, while damage limitation suited Malaysia.
But Pak piled on the misery for Malaysia when he tapped in Ri Un-chol’s cross to make it 4-0 to DPR Korea in the 79th minute.
Safawi Rasid responded with a fine strike for Malaysia in the 85th minute, but it was too little, too late as Nelo Vingada’s men fell out of contention for qualification.
Photos: AFC 


12 November 2017

Andersen praised North Korea's desire to win

North Korea moved level on points with Hong Kong in Group B of the 2019 Asian Cup qualification after an emphatic 4-1 win over Malaysia in a match played at a neutral venue in Buriram, Thailand. Korea were head and shoulders better than their Malaysian counterparts and could have won by a bigger margin had their finishing been better.

This was the win that North Korea were looking for after a 5-0 mauling that they received at the hands of Lebanon in their last match in the group. Pak Kwang Ryong opened the scoring early in the first half which was then followed by goals from Kim Yu Song, Kim Yong Il and Jong Il Gwan. 

Malaysia did pulled one back in the second half through a Safawi Rasid strike but North Korea regained their composure to snuff out any hope of a comeback. Head coach Jorn Andersen praised his team's performance after the match, claiming that they were the far superior side in the match.

"For my team, it was a good concentrated game from the beginning. We tried to start in high tempo, to press them, to disrupt them and to attack them. And I think the first half was really good."

"I think the early goal was very important. After this penalty, we still maintain the pressure. Always important to take the first goal but you can see which team was better today. Which team want to play football today and which team want to attack today and that was DPR Korea. I don't see Malaysia team in front of our goal in the first half," said Andersen.
The 54-year-old Norwegian was glad that his team came away with a win after recent negative results. The former Mainz 05 manager also opened up on how the rearrangement of the fixture had also impacted on his team.

"Of course it's stressful to see the game postponed three times and we don't get to play at home against Malaysia but the situation is that and we have to play both games here. We win the first game and we're very satisfied."

"This game gave us some confidence. It's our first win in a long time. It's very important for us to take the victory today to show the people that we can play good football," added Andersen.
North Korea will have a chance to gain a further three points when they meet Malaysia again on Monday.


10 November 2017


Buriram: Thailand: DPR Korea breathed new life into their AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign on Friday evening with a 4-1 victory over Malaysia in Group B.
First-half strikes from Pak Kwang-ryong and Kim Yu-song put Joern Andersen’s side in control before Kim Yong-Il and Jong Il-gwan added two more after the break. 
Safawi Rasid’s late consolation was not enough to prevent the Malaysians becoming isolated at the bottom of the group on one point.
The result takes DPR Korea level with second-placed Hong Kong ahead of the second encounter with Malaysia on Monday.
After a scrappy opening, DPR Korea took the upper hand and won a penalty in the 11th minute.
Saudi Arabian referee Fahad Adwan Almirdasi ruled that Malaysia skipper Fadhli Shas had handled Ri Yong-jik’s cross from the left. Pak side footed home the spot kick to put his team in front.
Dominant DPR Korea almost added a second in the 34th minute when Pak Kwang-ryong smashed a 25-yard drive against the bar. 
And there was nearly an embarrassing moment for Wan Zack Haikal when his back pass from inside the Korean half evaded Hafizul Hakim in the Malaysia goal and bounced off the post. 
But DPR Korea increased their lead as Kim glanced home Jong's free-kick from the left in the 42nd minute. 
Jong was the provider again as DPR Korea made it 3-0 just three minutes into the second half. Yong Il seized upon a cross from the left and fired into the roof of the net. 

The creator turned scorer in the 59th minute when Jong curled home a free-kick from just outside the box.

Malaysia scored a consolation in the 67th minute when Rasid smashed the ball high into the net from a tight angle after good work from Nazmi Faiz on the left.

Photos: AFC


DPR Korea, Malaysia seek victory to keep Asian Cup hopes alive

Burinam: DPR Korea and Malaysia both need wins when they face off in a Group B match at the I-Mobile Stadium later on Friday to keep their Asian Cup 2019 hopes alive.
Malaysia head coach Nelo Vingada is confident his side will end their winless run against DPR Korea.
Malaysia currently sit at the bottom of Group B with one point from three matches. Their 2-0 loss against Hong Kong last month has put them in a difficult spot.
Vingada's men will need at least four points from their next two matches to stay in contention, but a trip to Group B leaders Lebanon in March will be a daunting task.

Malaysia will be without captain Safiq Rahim, who is suspended after picking up a red card against Hong Kong.
“I cannot reveal my new captain. I have three candidates for the responsibility,” said Vingada.
“We still have a chance to fight for the second spot behind Lebanon, who are near certain to qualify, for an automatic berth. My players are ready. I have done all I can and now it is up to them to fight hard for the three points," he added.
DPR Korea coach Jorn Andersen said: "This is the third time we are preparing for this first round match against Malaysia. We studied Malaysia comprehensively when we were getting ready for the encounters in March and later October before they were postponed.
"This will be a good time to play them since they will be without their captain (Rahim) and defender Aidil Zafuan Radzak."
DPR Korea lost their last match against Lebanon 5-0 and are third in Group B with two points.
Andersen's men have not won this year, and a win against their opponents on Friday and the return leg on Monday in the neutral venue of Burinam, will put them back on track to qualify for the Finals.
Sources: Football Association of Malaysia, AFP


28 September 2017


Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today been informed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) that the Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel ban on Malaysian nationals visiting DPR Korea.
In light of this information, the AFC has postponed the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Final Qualifying Round Group B match between DPR Korea and Malaysia, which was scheduled to be played in Pyongyang on October 5, 2017. 
The AFC will now refer the matter to the appropriate committees to decide on the future status of this match.


07 September 2017


Pyongyang: Lebanon grabbed a late equaliser as they snatched a 2-2 AFC Asian Cup qualification draw against DPR Korea in a high quality encounter at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang. 
With boisterous home support DPR Korea took a deserved first-half lead through Kim Yu-song before defender Nour Mansour equalising early in the second-half. 
But late drama was assured thanks to a Ri Yong-jik's low strike before an injury time goal from Hassan Maatouk salvaged a last gasp point.  
The draw keeps Lebanon on top of Group B but still leaves DPR Korea, who have played fewer games, with many positives to take from a spirited and high tempo encounter. 
Former Norway international Jorn Andersen, only the DPR Korea's second ever foreign coach, has enjoyed a good start to his campaign in Pyongyang. 
Under him the Chollima had only lost once, but the team's momentum was checked somewhat when their AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Malaysia was postponed twice earlier this year. 
The Kim Il Sung stadium was almost full an hour before kick-off as tens of thousands and schoolchildren in white shirts, red ties and pin badges of the Dear Leader filled the stands.  
But it was Lebanon, now under Montenegrin coach Miodrag Radulovic, that started the brighter. 
After a series of raids down the left by captain Maatouk, midfielder Rabih Ataya blasted over from close range when he should have done better.  
DPR Korea came back into it with striker Pak Kwang-ryong intimidating The Cedars back line, whose cause was helped by some superb free kick routines, one of which brought a stunning save from Mehdi Kahlil in the Lebanese goal. 
But DPR Korea would eventually find a way past and take the lead from the resulting corner, a looping header from Kim Yu-song. 
Kahlil kept Lebanon in the match until half time, as the team seemed to struggle at times playing on the Kim il Sung stadium's artificial pitch. 
Yet almost as soon as the second-half started, Lebanon was level, defender Mansour pouncing in the box and blasting in at close range.  
Andersen, an animated figure in all black on the touchline, made all three substitutions by the 66th minute in an attempt to change the flow of the game. 
But despite taking up some good positions, Lebanon - who look a different, more expansive team under Radulovic - looked dangerous on the break, Ali Hamam blasting over as a bevy of teammates swarmed into the box.  
Just as the game was running out of time, DPR Korea struck. A hopeful ball into the Lebanese box caused chaos and rebounded out to midfielder Ri Yong-jik who blasted it past Khalil and sending the crowd into raptures. 
Shortly afterwards Lebanon defender Maher Sabra, who was on the bench, was shown a red card after an ugly confrontation with a member of his own coaching staff. 
But just as The Cholima thought they had done enough, a late free kick from Maatouk was swung in, somehow evading everyone before sneaking inside Ri Myong-guk's left hand post.


23 August 2017


Bengaluru: 4.25 SC Captain An Il-bom has emphasised the importance of working together as the forward prepares to lead the DPR Korea club out against JSW Bengaluru in the first leg of the AFC Cup Inter-Zone semi-final on Wednesday.
An  wore the skipper’s armband as tournament debutants 4.25 progressed to the knockout rounds, scoring twice in the group stage to pip compatriots Kigwancha SC to top spot in the Group I standings.
But it was his strike partner Kim Yu-song who grabbed most the headlines in netting a competition-leading nine goals in just four games as the Pyongyang-based club qualified for the next stage at the first time of asking.
“Kim Yu-song is a really good player,” An told the-AFC.com ahead of training at a saturated Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday evening.
“He’s our striker, he does a really good job and I think for the match he’ll be at his best.
“But we’re a team and not about the individual players. Everyone has to try their best to work well together and then we can get a good result.”
After going off in 4.25’s opening-day win over Mongolia’s Erchim FC, An did not play again until his side’s third match – a 2-2 draw with Kigwancha in the Pyongyang derby.
Trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes to play, the 26-year-old pulled one back before striker Kim scored deep into stoppage time with a goal that would ultimately send 4.25 through thanks to a marginally better head to head against Kigwancha.
An added another to his tally in a 5-0 victory over Erchim in their fourth and final Group I game to confirm top spot and be crowned East Asia Zonal champions.

“Right now we feel a little bit tired because of the flight here,” added An, whose team only arrived in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
“But we practiced a lot in DPR Korea to prepare for the match and I think our condition is pretty good. Both teams are very strong so it will be interesting.”
Head coach Hwang Yong-song, meanwhile, noted that his side would face stern opposition but has his eyes firmly fixed on progressing further into the competition with a group of players that know each other well.

“We think Bengaluru are a very strong team and have many good players,” said Pak. “They have four India internationals and also some foreign players so we think they have good players.
“Our team has many young players but we have played together for a long time. This is the first time we have participated in the AFC Cup and we have won some games.
“Now we’re playing Bengaluru and first of all we hope to win this game and proceed to the next stage.”
Photos: Lagardère Sports