There was a double celebration for North Korea this weekend as national teams at two different levels emerged victorious in two separate international football tournaments.
The North Korean U16 side were crowned Asian U16 champions for the first time in their history on Sunday as they secured a 2-0 victory over 10-man Uzbekistan at the Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent, with late strikes from Ri Kwang-il and Jo Kwang giving North Korea their second Asian youth football trophy in less than a month following the U19 side’s victory over Australia at the Asian U19 championships in China in October.
The full men’s team were also celebrating victory on Saturday night as their two wins and a draw in the 2010 Vietnam Football Federation SonHa Cup was enough to put them top of the four-team group and earn their second piece of silverware on Vietnamese soil in the past two months.
The North Korean squad previously won the Thang Long-Hanoi Football Cup at the end of September, and in the opening match of the SonHa Cup on November 2nd they came back from a goal down with goals in the last ten minutes from Ri Myong-jun and An Il-bom enough to earn a 2-1 victory over Singapore.
A 1-1 draw with a South Korean University XI in the second game on November 4th, followed by their southern rivals falling to a 2-0 defeat to Singapore in their final game, meant that the North Koreans knew victory over hosts Vietnam in the final match would see them top the standings and their 2-0 win on Saturday evening at Hanoi’s My Dinh stadium meant they were celebrating overall victory once again.