15 October 2010
DPR Korea 2-0 Korea Rep
Zibo: DPR Korea sealed their place in the final of the AFC U-19 Championship for the second time in four years as they defeated neighbours Korea Republic 2-0 at Zibo Sports Centre Stadium on Thursday.
Jong Il-kwan opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time before Ri Hyok-chol added a late second to set-up a meeting with Australia on Sunday.
The defeat for Korea Republic means the 11-time champions have now crashed out at the semi-final stage in the last three tournaments.
After a tentative start from both sides Korea Republic were the first to forge an opportunity in the 10th minute when Ji Dong-won rose higher than his marker but could only direct a weaker header straight into the hands of keeper Om Jin-song.
DPR Korea had yet to trouble No Dong-geon in the opposite goal although Mun Hyok forced Hwang Do-yeon to make a last-ditch clearance after muscling his way into the area to chase onto a long pass from midfield.
The game was slowly creaking into life as the half wore on as first Kim Kyung-jung sent a header wide for Korea Republic after 20 minutes before Jang Kuk-chol drove a low effort into the hands of No five minutes later.
Yun Il-gwan was running riot down the right wing for DPR Korea and he almost produced the opening goal 10 minutes before the break when he skipped the challenge of a defender to run into the area but drove his shot from an angle straight at No.
DPR Korea were dominating the latter stages of the half and they dealt a huge psychological blow to their rivals by taking the lead on the stroke of half time.
Yun Jong-su’s side were awarded a free-kick on the left side of the area and Ri Hyong-jin whipped the ball in towards the near post where Jong flicked a powerful header into the back of the net.
They almost added a second immediately into the second half when Jong found himself in space inside the area but No did well to gather the forward’s rasping drive at the second attempt.
But DPR Korea had to be alert at the other end of the pitch in the 55th minute when a free-kick was played to the far post where Hwang was left unmarked but his downward header was denied by Om.
Eager to protect their slender lead DPR Korea went on the defensive and consequently Korea Republic enjoyed a period of dominance, although they were finding themselves continually frustrated by a defence that had been breached only once before at the tournament.
And it was heartbreak for Korea Republic though 12 minutes from time when Hwang hit a back pass to No far too short and substitute Ri Hyok-chol was quick to pounce on his error, knocking the ball beyond the goalkeeper and then side-footing home to wrap up the victory.