09 December 2011

Player says N. Korean soccer undaunted by World Cup qualifying results

By John Duerden
Contributing writer
SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- It was just a year and a half ago that North Korea made international headlines at the 2010 World Cup, making its first finals appearance in 44 years and holding five-time champion Brazil to just a one-goal difference in their first round match.

This time, the team failed to qualify for the 2014 tournament. But its midfielder An Yong-hak is sure that with a bunch of promising young players, it will not have to wait quite as long to return to the tournament.

Dreams of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil ended on Nov. 11 in Uzbekistan. The consolation came four days later, with some 80,000 fans watching, with a 1-0 win over Asian champion and rival Japan in Pyongyang, even if it was too little too late in terms of 2014. Three defeats in the previous four games in Group C meant the host was playing for pride only.

An, a mainstay for almost a decade, said the drop in results was simple to explain. "After the World Cup in South Africa, we brought in a lot of new players," said An, who plays his club soccer for Kashiwa Reysol in Japan, in a recent interview.

"Around half the team was changed and five or six young players joined the team. The problem we had was just one of preparation. We didn't have enough time to prepare and get our teamwork up to scratch. All the new players are very good, but we just needed more time to play together," he said.

Luck didn't help, either. North Korea had been placed into a tough group with Japan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The rule is that only the top two progresses to the final round of qualifications.

The road to Brazil started with the most difficult away match in Japan. After a hard-fought game in Saitama, a goal in the last minute gave the host a vital win. "We were so disappointed at that time," recalled An. "It was the first game in qualification, and we were happy with how things were going and we would have been happy with one point. ... The problem for us is that we had a man sent off and what was already a difficult game became more so and we were getting very tired."

As expected, North Korea defeated the weakest team in the group, Tajikistan, in the second game, but the major damage was done by back-to-back 1-0 defeats at the hands of Uzbekistan, a fast-improving team in Central Asia.

It is not hard to see what the problem is. There is no doubt that North Korea is a defensive team. In 14 group games in qualification for the 2010 World Cup, the team conceded just five goals. Even in the five games in the third round of qualification for 2014, it conceded only three but scored just twice.

"Compared to the 2010 World Cup, we play more attacking football now," said An. "We have more attacking players and often we play 4-4-2 and look to get forward as much as we can. Sometimes we play 5-4-1 as we did in Uzbekistan."

An called the home game against Uzbekistan the turning point for the North Korean team. "We had lots of chances but missed them all," he said. "We were all very disappointed. If we had won that game, we would have been OK... I probably won't understand just how much we've lost until I watch the final round of qualifiers and the tournament itself on TV."

Uzbekistan midfielder Server Djeparov, who appeared in both games, felt that while his team deserved to win, he admitted that North Korea has skills.

North Korea is not an easy team to play against as it is very well-organized and plays defensively, up to scratch," said Djeparov, who spent part of the 2010 and 2011 K-League season with FA Seoul. "After we scored in each game it became easier as the opposition has to change its usual playing style and become more aggressive. These games are never easy."

The only bright point of the campaign for North Korea came in a home win against Japan. "Although we were out and Japan had already qualified for the final round, this was not a friendly game. We were under lots of pressure to win this game," said An. "It was a very difficult game and mentally we felt the burden, but we kept going and all the players gave everything and while Japan came at us, we defended well. There is a little regret about how differently things could have turned out if we had managed to do that from the beginning."

The way forward for North Korea could be in its policy of trying to send more of its young players overseas to gain international experience. In addition to Jong Tae-se in Germany with Bochum, there are two players in the Danish second division, one in Russia and two in Switzerland. This greater international experience should stand the team in good stead, according to An.

"I think that as I am old and we have lots of young players, it is time to support the team rather than play on it," he said. "We have many young players now on the national team. They are very good and there is a bright future for the team. Many of them played against Japan and when they were able to defeat the Asian Champions they got a lot of confidence from that win and are ready to move to the next level."


yonhap new agency

01 December 2011

AFC Challenge Cup Draw today

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held a draw ceremony for up-coming AFC Challenge Cup football tournament today at Hotel Soaltee crown Plaza, Tahachal.

Group A :

Nepal , Turkmenistan , Maldives and Palestine

Group B :

Philippines , India , Tajikistan and North Korea

AFC Challenge Cup take place in Nepal in March , 2012

Winner get a spot in 2015 Asian Cup

29 November 2011

Japan parliament debates loss to N. Korea

Japan's 1-0 World Cup qualifying away defeat by North Korea has stirred a debate in parliament with one lawmaker claiming the Blue Samurai could have been kidnapped if they had won in Pyongyang.

But Tokyo on Tuesday said it was not considering filing a protest with the North Korean authorities about alleged mistreatment of the Japan team before and during the November 15 match.

The Blue Samurai were held up for four hours on arrival at Pyongyang airport and roundly booed when the Japanese national anthem was played ahead of the match before an extremely partisan crowd of 50,000 at the Kim Il-Sung stadium.

"I presume that, if Japan won by 2-0 or 3-0, our players themselves would have been abducted," conservative opposition lawmaker Tetsushi Sakamoto told a lower house committee on Monday, according to Japanese media.

He praised Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni, despite the defeat which has been largely attributed to his use of a large number of substitutes for the starting line-up against North Korea.

The match result did not affect the final standing of Group C, in which Japan and Uzbekistan have already advanced to the final qualifying round, with North Korea and Tajikistan out of contention.

"The lion's share of the credit should go to manager Zac (Zaccheroni) as he let the team lose by 1-0," Sakamoto said. "Judging from the way he used the players, I presume he was resolutely prepared for a draw or defeat by the narrowest of margins."

Foreign Minister Kochiro Gemba told the committee: "I understand various things occurred (at the match) including unfortunate incidents."

At Pyongyang airport, immigration and customs officials held up the Japanese team for four hours while chiding them for laughing and confiscating "contraband" such as bananas, chewing gum, and instant noodles, according to media reports.

North Korea allowed only 150 supporters and 10 domestic journalists from Japan to visit the secretive country for the match.

The Tokyo government statement, issued in response to an opposition question, said: "It was not desirable that spectators in North Korea showed an unfriendly attitude."

"It is understood that the Japan Football Association is taking action with regard to the customs' treatment and the spectators' behaviour."

The parliamentary committee was dealing with North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s to train spies in Japanese language and culture.

The unresolved kidnapping issue has prevented the two countries from normalising ties. Japan has strictly curbed exchanges with its communist neighbour, especially after Pyongyang tested nuclear bombs.

The Japan football Association (JFA) said it had sent a letter to its North Korean counterpart making inquiries about how the Japan team were treated and about the limits imposed by Pyongyang on supporters and media from Japan.

"We made the inquiries in a communication which we regularly make with host countries after international matches," JFA spokesman Hideki Kato told AFP.

Copies of the letter were reportedly sent to world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

Source : AFP

22 November 2011

N. Korea crowned world champs - unofficially

SINGAPORE — North Korea's 1-0 win over Japan last week was not only a famous victory over their bitter rivals -- it also made them the Unofficial Football World Champions, according to a tongue-in-cheek website.

The www.ufwc.co.uk site contends that the world title won by Spain in 2010 passed unofficially to Argentina after a friendly win, and then to Japan after the Blue Samurai beat Lionel Messi's men in October last year.

So when Pak Nam Chol buried his 50th-minute header at Pyongyang's bitterly cold Kim Il Sung Stadium last Tuesday, prompting rapturous celebrations, it was a goal that also put the secretive state unofficially on top of the world.

"Heads will shake and eyebrows will raise but, in beating former champions Japan 1-0 on Tuesday, North Korea won the UFWC title and took (virtual) possession of the CW Alcock Cup," said a posting on the website.

"It?s a shock that many football fans are still getting used to, with North Korea becoming one of the least likely champions the game has ever seen.

"That, of course, is the beauty of the UFWC (Unofficial Football World Championship).

"Anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes, and North Korea deserved to take the title from Japan, who had taken the title from Argentina, who had taken the title from Spain... and so on."

In terms of official competition, the win was meaningless for North Korea as they had already been eliminated from 2014 World Cup qualifying, while Japan are into the final Asian round.

According to the site's rankings, Scotland are the most successful team with 86 unofficial world titles, followed by England and Argentina, while North Korea's first puts them joint 42nd alongside Israel and the Dutch Antilles.

The site says its rankings under a "simple boxing-style title system" take into account matches since the first international football match in 1872.


15 November 2011

YouTube - North Korea DPR vs Japan 1-0 Match Highlights 15.11.2011

North Korea 1-0 Japan !

Pyongyang: DPR Korea picked up their second win of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, third round qualifying campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win over reigning AFC Asian Cup champions Japan at the Kim Il-sung Stadium on Tuesday.

With Japan and Uzbekistan having already secured their passage to the next stage of qualifying the result was to prove inconsequential to the outcome of Group C but it was certainly a morale-boosting victory for the North Koreans, who are gearing up for the defence of their AFC Challenge Cup title which takes place in March next year in Nepal.

The feisty encounter which saw Bahrain referee Nawaf Shukralla issue seven yellow cards to the hosts - including two for Jong Il-gwan who was sent off in the 77th minute - was settled in the 50th minute by Pak Nam-chol, scorer of the Chollima's winner in their Matchday 2 victory over Tajikistan.

source : afc.com

11 November 2011

Uzbekistan 1-0 North Korea

Tashkent: Timur Kapadze's strike early in the second-half was enough for Uzbekistan to defeat DPR Korea 1-0 on Friday in Group C of the third round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers sealing the Central Asians' progression to the next phase along with Japan.

The 2011 AFC Asian Cup champions advanced with a 4-0 win over Tajikistan earlier on Friday and the Uzbeks ensured they will join the Japanese as the other qualifier from Group C as Kapadze struck four minutes after the interval to edge the North Koreans in a hard-fought tussle in Tashkent.

DPR Korea's defeat left them on three points, seven behind Uzbekistan and Japan with just two games remaining which leaves them, and Tajikistan who have yet to get off the mark, out of the reckoning for a place in the next round of qualifiers.

06 November 2011

65 fans to join official tour for Japan's World Cup game in N. Korea

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A travel agency organizing a spectator tour for Japan's World Cup qualifier against North Korea on Nov. 15 said Friday 65 fans will travel on the tour to Pyongyang for the Group C clash.

Nishitetsu Travel, which is organizing the Japan Football Association's official tour, said it had 94 internet applications by Thursday evening's deadline and has started contacting the 65 spectators, who were selected based in order of applications and other factors.

The tour, which has been given special government approval and costs around 290,000 yen, will arrive in Pyongyang on Nov. 14 via Beijing and return to Japan's Haneda airport the day after the game.

Government officials said Wednesday arrangements were being made to send Foreign Ministry staff to North Korea to ensure the safety of Japanese supporters when they travel to Pyongyang.

According to the ministry, it would be the first time for ministry bureaucrats to visit North Korea since some accompanied then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on his trip there in May 2004.

The ministry staff will stay in a hotel in Pyongyang and use it as their base since Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties.

Staff from the ministry's Consular Affairs Bureau and Northeast Asia Division under the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau intend to negotiate with North Korean authorities to address contingency situations such as accidents involving Japanese who travel to North Korea for the qualifier.

The move followed Japan's decision to take an exceptional measure to allow members of the national team, accompanying reporters and team supporters who register for official tours organized by the JFA to go to North Korea.

As part of sanctions imposed following North Korea's missile launch in July 2006, Japan has asked its nationals to refrain from visiting North Korea and suspended travel by public servants.

With roughly 200 Japanese people including the media projected to enter North Korea, a government official called it "necessary to dispatch Foreign Ministry staff from the standpoint of protecting Japanese nationals."

The envisioned dispatch has prompted protests from opposition lawmakers who point to what they say is the danger of making such an exception when outstanding issues remain such as North Korea's past abductions of Japanese nationals and Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

(Mainichi Japan) November 5, 2011

18 October 2011

Japan to limit spectators traveling to World Cup qualifier in North Korea

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government has asked the Japan Football Association to limit the number of spectators traveling to Pyongyang to watch Japan's World Cup soccer qualifier against North Korea next month to around 200 to 300, government sources said Monday.

The government apparently decided to keep the number of Japanese going to North Korea for the match to a minimum as the Foreign Ministry has asked Japanese nationals to refrain from visiting the country as part of sanctions imposed following a North Korean missile launch in 2006.

It also likely determined that it would be difficult to protect Japanese nationals in the event of trouble at the stadium and elsewhere because Japan and North Korea do not maintain diplomatic relations.

The JFA is expected to respond positively to the government's request, but the move may draw complaints from fans.

The sources said the Justice Ministry and the Foreign Ministry made the request to the JFA during the first half of October, also asking the association to limit the number of media personnel from Japan covering the event to around 50.

The request, however, is not legally binding and Japanese nationals can enter North Korea on their own if they obtain visas at the country's embassy or consulate in China.

Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives Seishiro Eto, who heads a parliamentary group promoting soccer diplomacy, is said to be also considering traveling to Pyongyang via Beijing to watch the Nov. 15 match.

Soccer world governing body FIFA has stipulated that the number of spectators and other details of qualifying round matches for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil should be decided through discussions between the countries of the host and visiting teams.

(Mainichi Japan) October 18, 2011

07 October 2011

AFC Women`s U19 - North Korea 2-1 South Korea

Ho Chi Minh City: Kim Su-gyong's goal nine minutes from time sealed a second-half comeback by DPR Korea as they got their AFC U-19 Women's U-19 campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 triumph over Korea Republic.

Korea Republic had taken the lead after 17 minutes when Choi Mi-rae found the back of the net and retained their advantage until midway through the second period when substitute Kim jo-ran's deflected shot levelled the contest.

Kim Su-gyong then finished off good work from Kwon Song-hwa to grab the three points for DPR Korea.

Korea Republic shaded the opening 45 minutes and Yu Ri tested O Chang-ran with a shot following a surging run down the left into the box after quarter of an hour but the DPR Korea keeper pushed the forward's effort over the bar.

Two minutes later, Choi Mi-rae finished off a Korea Republic set piece with a powerful strike that O was unable to keep out to give her side the lead.

Choi Duck-joo's charges continued to press and had another clear sight of goal just after the half-hour mark but Lee Jung-eun side-footed straight at the keeper following a cutback to the edge of the box.

DPR Korea then spurned a good opportunity of their own when Kim Su-gyong lifted an attempt over the bar from inside the area with Kim Min-ah lying prone on the floor after the Korea Republic keeper had made an initial save.

DPR Korea proved more of a force in the second period and had a fantastic opening to equalise just before the hour mark when Kim Un-hyang broke free down the right-hand side and surged into the box but blasted her finish straight at keeper Kim Min-ah.

They did draw level in the 72nd minute when Kwon turned her marker and skipped away down the right flank before squaring for fellow substitute Kim Jo-ran to steer home from the edge of the area with the help of a slight deflection from a Korea Republic defender.

Kim Bich-na had a good chance to restore her side's lead almost immediately at the other end but was off target before DPR Korea grabbed the winner in the 81st minute.

Kwon forged down the left side this time and pulled the ball back to Kim Su-gyong inside the box and the midfielder made no mistake with the finish.

Korea Republic had a half-chance to salvage a point in stoppage time but when the ball fell to Choi Yoo-jung, she was unable to get any power behind her effort.


18 September 2011

AFC U16 - Four out of four for defending champions

Pyongyang: It was another Ri Kwang-song late show at the Kim Il-sung Stadium as the DPR Korea midfielder scored in stoppage-time as the defending champions defeated China to end their 2012 AFC U-16 Championship qualifying campaign with a 100% record.

Ri, who came off the bench to score an 89th minute winner against Singapore, scored the only goal two minutes into second-half stoppage time as the North Koreans advanced to next year's finals with a perfect record.

China, who finished runners-up behind the Group B hosts following victories over Malaysia, Singapore and Timore Leste, are also through to the tournament proper.


11 September 2011

Korea DPR punch London ticket

Korea DPR have joined Japan as Asia’s representatives at the 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, with their comprehensive 5-0 final-round victory against Thailand confirming a top-two finish.

World champions Japan sealed their passage on Thursday, while Korea DPR needed to collect three points to ensure they stayed ahead of fellow 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ finalists Australia in the six-nation tournament.

Victory for the North Koreans was never in doubt thanks to first-half goals from Yun Song Mi and Choe Mi Gyong, while a double from Ra Un Sim helped blow out the scoreline.

Meanwhile Australia, needing to win in case of a Korea DPR slip-up, secured a 2-1 comeback victory against Korea Republic to finish third. Lisa De Vanna and Tameka Butt scored second-half goals after the South Koreans had taken the lead via Kwon Hah Nul midway through the first period.

Host nation China PR were fourth, ahead of Korea Republic and Thailand at the tournament being held in Jinan.

The other nations to have confirmed their participation at London 2012 to date are France, Sweden, Brazil and Colombia, while Great Britain will participate as hosts.


AFC U16 - North Korea 3-0 Malaysia

Pyongyang: Reigning AFC U-16 Champions DPR Korea recorded their second win in Group E of qualifying for the 2012 AFC U-16 Championship on Saturday when they defeated Malaysia 3-0.

Jon Kum-song opened the scoring at the Kim Il-sung Stadium with a 20th minute penalty before Choe Ju-song found the net in the 37th and 67th minutes to take his individual tally to six in two games following his four- goal haul in the North Koreans' 11-2 win over Timor Leste in their opening fixture on Thursday.


09 September 2011

AFC U16 - North Korea win 11-2 !

Pyongyang, September 8 (KCNA) -- Group E preliminaries for the 2012 AFC U-16 Championship started at Kim Il Sung Stadium on Thursday.

Group E includes the DPRK, China, East Timor, Malaysia and Singapore.

The DPRK, the winner of the last championship, defeated East Timor 11:2 and China beat Malaysia 3:1 on Thursday.


06 September 2011

North Korea 1-0 Tajikistan FT

North Korea team against Tajikistan

18 KIM Myong Gil (GK)
2 CHA Jong Hyok
4 PAK Nam Chol
5 RI Kwang Chon (C)
6 RYANG Yong Gi
8 RI Chol Myong
9 JONG Tae Se
11 Jong IL GWAN
12 JON Kwang Ik
14 PAK Nam Chol
17 AN Yong Hak

1-0 PAK Nam Chol (14')

Live updates FIFA.com

05 September 2011

North Korea win against South Korea

North Korea Women`s NT won 3-2 against South Korea today in AFC Olympic Women`S qualifiers in China.

North Korea have 7 points after three matches.

Top two qualify for Olympics in London

Jong aims to win in style

Pyongyang: DPR Korean pin-up Jong Tae-se is aiming to win in style against Tajikistan in the 2014 FIFA World Cup match day 2 qualifier on Tuesday.

The Koreans from the North of the peninsula fell to a 1-0 defeat against Japan in Saitama in the opening match after a 94th minute goal by Maya Yoshida, while Tajikistan were beaten 1-0 by fellow Central Asians Uzbekistan at home, thanks to a Maksim Shatskikh strike.

In a group of just four teams with only two guaranteed to progress the former Kawasaki Frontale player knows that goal difference may also come into play, and revealed that the Chollima will go for the kill against the Central Asians.

“We have to get many goals,” said Jong. “I think that Tajikistan is the weakest team in the group so we have to get three or four goals.”

About the defeat to Japan, the VfL Bochum star said: “This is football, anything can happen and there is always drama. Japan had good luck. We are not as strong as the Japan national team and it was an away game for us so one point would have been a very good result.”


03 September 2011

North Korea's Jong Tae-Se: 'It hurts to have been done in by Maya Yoshida'

North Korea and VfL Bochum striker Jong Tae-Se was despondent following Japan's last-minute 1-0 victory over his team at Saitama Stadium on Friday.

The forward, known as "the People's Rooney", had been replaced late in the game before his close friend Maya Yoshida popped up to score the dramatic late winner for Japan.

"We could have got a draw. We understood that we didn't have many [scoring] chances, but it's very disappointing that we didn't take home a point," Jong told reporters after the game.

With North Korea a man down, Jong was replaced by An Chol-Hyok in the 90th minute as his side struggled to hold back Japan's ferocious attacks.

The effort was in vain, however, as Hiroshi Kiyotake's cross was superbly headed by Yoshida to give Japan a lead in the third minute of stoppage time.

Japanese broadcasters immediately trained their cameras on Jong, who could be seen burying his face into a towel.

Jong and Yoshida, who plays for Eredivisie's VVV Venlo, are close friends and are known to visit each other's homes in Germany.

"This is the first time my team's been scored on by Yoshida, and it really does hurt," Jong said. "But I can't be disappointed forever, because we absolutely have to win next Tuesday against Tajikistan."

Looking back on the game-winning scene, Yoshida told reporters: "I was completely unmarked, so I was able to see where all of [North Korea's] players were in front of the goal."

Yoshida scored his second goal on the international stage on the same day he earned his his seventh cap for Japan.

The defender also spoke of his close relationship with injured striker Keisuke Honda, with whom he played with at Nagoya Grampus and VVV Venlo before Honda moved to CSKA Moscow.

Honda advised Yoshida to keep up his training regimen during the European off-season, telling the 23-year-old that: "[You're] young, so it doesn't matter if you don't take a day off."

Yoshida laughed when discussing the incident, telling assembled reporters that: "If we didn't win, [Honda] would have called me to complain."

Yoshida received several offers from Eastern European clubs during the transfer window but chose to stay with Venlo because he hasn't fulfilled my potential in Holland yet.

With Honda out for three months after requiring surgery on his injured knee, Yoshida and the rest of the Samurai Blue will bear heavier burdens as they continue with their World Cup qualifying campaign.


01 September 2011

North Korea win against Australia

North Korea women`s NT won 1-0 against Australia today in Women`s Olympic qualifiers in China.

Next match on Saturday is against South Korea who drew China 0-0 today

30 August 2011

Strict Rules as NK Squad Hits Japan

By Kim Tae Hong

The North Korea national soccer team has been allowed entry into Japan for the first time in six years in order to play a preliminary World Cup qualifying game.

Permission was granted after the Japan Football Association requested that the government make an exception to rules put in place in response to North Korea’s failure to resolve the abductions issue and ongoing development of missiles, under which North Korean nationals are not ordinarily allowed to enter the country.

Accordingly, the squad of 33 arrived at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo via Beijing yesterday, where they were met by some 300 Korean-Japanese supporters.

The North Korean soccer authorities have forbidden the Japanese media from interacting with the squad in five different ways, including by following them, announcing the location of their accommodation, entering their training location or attempting to make contact with the players.

For their part, the Japanese authorities have moved to forestall any clashes between the two by forbidding the North Koreans from going beyond the perimeters of their accommodation, training ground and the match stadium.

The match between the two sides is due to take place in Saitama on September 2nd.

Daily NK

25 August 2011

North Korea barred from 2015 women’s World Cup

North Korea have been banned from taking part in the 2015 women's World Cup in Canada after five of their players were handed lengthy suspensions by FIFA on Thursday for failing doping tests during this year's edition in Germany.

The five players were suspended from the game for periods of 14 to 18 months, the FIFA disciplinary committee announced.

"Pok Sim Jong, Myong Hui Hong, Un Byol Ho, Un Hyang Ri have been declared ineligible for 18 months and Jong Sun Song for 14 months," said the statement.

"Furthermore, the North Korea Football Association's women's A representative team has been excluded from participating in the next FIFA Women's World Cup (Canada 2015), including any preliminary competitions related thereto."

The team doctor, Jong Ae Nam, who claimed that she had used a "Chinese remedy" based on musk deer glands to aid players who had been struck by lightning, was handed a six-year ban from the game as the five players all tested positive for steroids.

The North Korean federation was also fined $400,000 which corresponds to the prize money it would have received for its 13th place.


10 August 2011

North Korea drew Kuwait

North Korea drew Kuwait 0-0 in a friendly today in Kuwait

01 August 2011

N.Korea's Jong rues tough World Cup draw

North Korea striker Jong Tae-Se has questioned his side's lowly standing in the FIFA rankings after they were given a tough qualifying draw for the 2014 World Cup.

North Korea, who made a winless exit from South Africa 2010, were grouped with four-time Asian champions Japan, Syria and 2011 Asian Cup semi-finalists Uzbekistan at the draw in Rio de Janeiro.

Jong said he was confident North Korea would progress from the group along with Japan, but complained the communist state's 115th place in the FIFA rankings was "obviously" unreasonable.

"Isn't it strange that we always end up 100 percent in a group of death in any (major) tournament?" the 27-year-old, who was born and bred in Japan, wrote on his blog.

Jong moved to Germany's VfL Bochum from J-League side Kawasaki Frontale after last year's World Cup, where North Korea faced five-time champions Brazil, Portugal and the Ivory Coast in the group stage.

The striker, nicknamed the "People's Rooney" for his combative style, likened to the England and Manchester United striker, said the tough 2014 draw was due to North Korea's low FIFA ranking.

This left them in the weakest pot of teams, which also included Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Lebanon.

"Normally, Japan, Uzbekistan and Syria are joined by a relatively weaker team from somewhere. But why do North Korea come in there?" he wrote.

"I don't say that the FIFA rankings can't be depended upon," wrote the outspoken Jong. "But it is obviously not a reasonable place (for North Korea) in terms of potential."

"I personally believe on my own that the biggest reason is that we as a socialist country cannot pay money to organise warm-up matches on international 'A' match days."

At the Asian Cup in January, North Korea bowed out at the group stage after losing to holders Iraq and former three-time champions Iran and drawing with the United Arab Emirates.

Jong has scored 15 goals in 28 international matches since his debut for North Korea in 2007.

He failed to find the net in South Africa but impressed by setting up the goal in the 2-1 defeat to Brazil. The crew-cut striker also earned plenty of attention when he sobbed uncontrollably during the national anthem before the Brazil game.

©2011 AFP

30 July 2011

2014 FIFA World Cup Draw

North Korea in Group C.

Teams : Japan , Uzbekistan , Syria and North Korea

First match will be against Japan on 2. September , first home match against Syria on 6. September

19 June 2011

Mexico battle back in Morelia

Mexico survived quite a scare in their opening Group A match, requiring a ferocious fight-back against a ten-man Korea DPR to claim a 3-1 victory. Carlos Fierro equalised Jo Kwang’s early strike, and after goalkeeper Cha Jong Hun was sent off early in the second half, the home side were able to claim all the points on offer.

It looked like the weight and pressure of the occasion was going to prove too much for Mexico early on in their opening with Korea DPR in Morelia. The Asian champions shocked the home crowd by taking the lead, Jo Kwang latching onto a through ball form the left, controlling well and poking the ball underneath the despairing Mexican goalkeeper Richard Sanchez.

After the early setback, the hosts roared into attack, with the visitors happy enough to sit back and look for the occasional counter-attack. And after chances galore went begging through Arturo González, Marco Bueno and Carlos Fierro, the fans began to look a little tense in the Estadio Morelos. Fierro finally settled those jangling nerves eight minutes before the interval, however, with a well-taken volley from close range after a mix-up in the Asian’s defence.

The home side chased the go-ahead goal as the second half developed. And when goalkeeper Cha Jong Hun took down Marco Bueno and was promptly given his marching orders by the referee, all looked lost for the brave Koreans. They continued to self-destruct in minute 68 when Giovani Casillas’ cross was met by the sprawling Jong Kwang Sok, who nodded into his own net.

The Mexicans continued to pile heavy pressure on their ten-man visitors, who wilted in the heat as the second period wore on. They added a third in the 87th minute when substitute keeper An Kang Chol could not hold Fierro’s wicked shot from distance and the outstanding Casillas pounced to pop into the open net.


25 May 2011

Belgia women`s NT beat North Korea

Disappointing result for North Korea women`s NT when Belgium won 1-0
in Veldwezelt, Belgium.

Belgium is ranked number 35 in FIFA World Ranking for women

21 May 2011

Germany see off North Korea in women's W.Cup warm-up

Defending champions Germany began their preparations for next month's women's World Cup in earnest on Saturday with a 2-0 friendly win over North Korea as they get ready to host the event.

Having won the last two World Cups, Germany are bidding to win their third straight title and open their defence at Berlin's Olympic Stadium against Canada on June 26.

After Germany slaughtered future world cup opponents Nigeria 8-0 last November in Leverkusen, this was a more subdued run out for the national side in their first game of 2011.

Some solid defending from North Korea frustrated the hosts until Jong Pok-Sim fouled Germany captain Birgit Prinz and Hamburg midfielder Kim Kulig fired home the penalty on 59 minutes at Audi-Sportpark in Ingolstadt, south Germany.

Having taken the lead, the hosts then relaxed and made sure of victory when midfielder Celia Okoyino da Mbabi got the better of the North Korea defence and fired home on 85 minutes to score Germany's second.

"I'm totally satisfied," said Germany coach Silvia Neid.

"We have had some tough training camps and you could see some tiredness in a few heads.

"We did well up front and the defence kept their discipline."


20 May 2011

Women`s NT in Europe

North Korea Women`s NT is in Europe now. They drew Netherlands 1-1 in Venlo on Wednesday , and will be playing Germany in Ingolstadt on Saturday.

A possible Belgium friendly on 24. May

China friendly

North Korea Men`s NT will be playing a friendly against China on 8. June in Guiyang

17 May 2011

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011 draw

Group A (Morelia/Monterrey)
1. Mexico
2. Korea DPR
3. Congo
4. Netherlands


06 May 2011

Friendlies cancelled

North Korea got two friendlies cancelled, first against Costa Rica in May and now a possible match against Argentina in London been cancelled. Argentina chose to play Poland instead on 5. June report match organizer World Eleven.

01 May 2011

Costa Rica match cancelled , friendly against Argentina ?

North Korea match against Costa Rica has been cancelled and Costa Rica playing Nigeria instead on 30. May.

Costa Rica FA website

Latest rumour is a Argentina friendly on 5. June in Emirates Stadium !

17 April 2011

North Korea Women`s NT beat China

Friendly against China today in Qingdao , China.

North Korea Women`s NT won 1-0.They play another match (closed door) against China on Tuesday

11 April 2011

Three wins for North Korea

North Korea beat Afghanistan 2-0 and Nepal drew Sri Lanka 0-0 in the last matches in group in Nepal.

Nepal and North Korea qualify for AFC Challenge Cup finals next year.

Finalists :

North Korea

10 April 2011

DPR Korea Coach Yun Jong Su Says He Enjoys The Match

DPR Korea Coach Yun Jong Su said that he completely enjoyed the match aganst Nepal in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers on Saturday.

Speaking at the post match conference, Su said with the help of translator, "I enjoyed the match. Nepalese players didn't give up and they worked very hard".

Su also said that clinical finishing was the only problem in his side.

"We squandered at least three clear goal scoring chances. Nepalese goalkeeper was too lucky to save those chances", Su added.

Su also promised that his boys would play their best to beat Afghansitan in their final match on Monday.

DPR Korea are already qualified to the final round of AFC challenge Cup.

"I want to promise all Nepalese football fans that our team would play competitive football against Afghanistan and win with clear margin", Su concluded.


DPR Korea Lies To Nepali Media; Eight World Cuppers In The Team


Why did they lie to the Nepalese media? We have found out that DPR Korea are playing this AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers with eight World Cuppers participated in 2010 FIFA WC in South Africa.

In the pre-match conference before the qualifiers, team assistant coach Pong Gi had informed Nepalese media that they were here with just three World Cup Players.

While comparing the FIFA 2010 WC list and current AFC Challenge Cup list, we find out eight Players!

For the proof:

FIFA World Cup List:

1 RI Myong Guk 09/09/1986 GK Pyongyang City (PRK)
2 CHA Jong Hyok 25/09/1985 DF Amrokgang (PRK)
3 RI Jun Il 24/08/1987 DF Sobaeksu (PRK)
4 PAK Nam Chol 02/07/1985 MF April 25 (PRK)
5 RI Kwang Chon 04/09/1985 DF April 25 (PRK)
6 KIM Kum Il 10/10/1987 MF April 25 (PRK)
7 AN Chol Hyok 27/06/1987 FW Rimyongsu (PRK)
8 JI Yun Nam 20/11/1976 DF April 25 (PRK)
9 JONG Tae Se 02/03/1984 FW Kawasaki Frontale (JPN)
10 HONG Yong Jo 22/05/1982 FW FK Rostov (RUS)
11 MUN In Guk 29/09/1978 MF April 25 (PRK)
12 CHOE Kum Chol 09/02/1987 FW April 25 (PRK)
13 PAK Chol Jin 05/09/1985 DF Amrokgang (PRK)
14 PAK Nam Chol 03/10/1988 DF Amrokgang (PRK)
15 KIM Yong Jun 19/07/1983 MF Pyongyang City (PRK)
16 NAM Song Chol 07/05/1982 DF April 25 (PRK)
17 AN Yong Hak 25/10/1978 MF Omiya Ardija (JPN)
18 KIM Myong Gil 16/10/1984 GK Amrokgang (PRK)
19 RI Chol Myong 18/02/1988 MF Pyongyang City (PRK)
20 KIM Myong Won 15/07/1983 GK Amrokgang (PRK)
21 RI Kwang Hyok 17/08/1987 DF Kyonggongop (PRK)
22 KIM Kyong Il 11/12/1988 MF Rimyongsu (PRK)
23 PAK Sung Hyok 30/05/1990 MF Sobaeksu (PRK)

** Bold Are The Players who participated in the FIFA WC, according to the FIFA team list.

AFC Challenge Cup 2011 Qualifiers Team List:

PAK NAM CHOL DF (WC)(Pak Chol Jin)


09 April 2011

Pics - Nepal vs North Korea

Pictures by: Sudarshan Ranjit www.goalnepepal.com

Nepal 0-1 North Korea FT

North Korea won 1-0 against Nepal.

Live report goalnepal.com

Afghanistan won 1-0 against Sri Lanka.

Match summary

Standings :

North Korea 6 points
Nepal 3 points
Afghanistan 3 points
Sri Lanka 0 points

07 April 2011

North Korea win 4-0

North Korea won 4-0 against Sri Lanka in the first match in AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal. HT score was 3-0.

Nepal beat Afghanistan 1-0 in the second match today.

06 April 2011

Breaking News: DPR Korea Have Three World Cuppers

DPR Korea have revealed that they have three World Cuppers in the team....

Ri Kwang Chon (CDF), Ri Myong Guk and Pak Nam Chol (DF) are here in Nepal with the team.

DPR Korea assistant coach Ra Pong Gi informed that half of the AFC Asian Cup squad are ready to give surprise in this AFC challenge cup qualifiers.

"We have three World Cup players and half of our team members have participated in the AFC Asian Cup", Ri Pong added, "but they are young. We have reshuffled the team after the FIFA World Cup. We are giving more match experience to our boys".

Pong Gi also mentioned that Asian Rooney didn't travel with the team because he is injured.

"We are taking this tournament very seriously", Pong gi answered when he was asked how serious is his team.

"We don't underestimate to any. Nepal, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are no exception", Pong Gi added.

"every team will have their own strategies. We also have ours. It varies in every match", Gi added.

When asked him about the match against Sri Lanka, Pong Gi said, "As I said earlier, we are not taking any team lightly. We will play our usual game".


05 April 2011

North Korea ready for AFC Challenge Cup

North Korea have arrived Kathmandu , Nepal and are ready for AFC Challenge Cup group stage.

North Korea will take on Sri Lanka at Halchwok Stadium on 7. April, Nepal on 9. April and Afghanistan on 11. April.

Top two advance to AFC Challenge Cup finals next year where the winner will get a place in Asian Cup finals.

North Korea preliminary squad

29 March 2011

North Korea drew Jordan

North Korea drew Jordan 1-1 in a friendly today in Sharjah, UAE

This was last friendly before AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Nepal in April.

28 March 2011

North Korea beat Kuwait

North Korea Olympic NT won 3-1 against Kuwait Olympic NT today.

North Korea Senior NT play Jordan in UAE tomorrow.

26 March 2011

Iraq beat North Korea

North Korea lost 0-2 to Iraq today in a friendly in Sharjah today.

North Korea Olympic NT won 2-0 against Kuwait Olympic NT today in Kuwait City.

North Korea friendlies today

North Korea Olympic NT is scheduled to play against Kuwait Olympic NT in Kuwait today. Match was postponed because of bad weather yesterday.

Senior NT will play Iraq today in Sharjah, UAE.

21 March 2011

New schedule for UAE tournament

North Korea face Iraq on 26. March in UAE 4 nations tournament at 20.00.

Next match will be against Jordan on 29. March at 16.30

All matches at Al Sharjah Stadium in UAE.

Olympic NT - Kuwait to host N. Korea

KUWAIT CITY, March 20, (KUNA): The Kuwait Olympic football team are set to host North Korea in two friendlies at Mohammed Al-Hamad Stadium, in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers.
Both teams and are scheduled to clash on 26 and 29 March respectively, the Kuwait Football Association said in a statement.
Kuwait will look to mix things up a bit in order to find the best formation during the qualifiers.
Kuwait progressed to the next round of the qualifiers after consecutive home and away wins over Bangladesh.

Arab Times

14 March 2011

North Korea in UAE tournament

North Korea has replaced El Salvador in last minute and will be participating in a 4 nations tournament in Sharjah , UAE.

Teams : North Korea , Kuwait , Iraq and Jordan

North Korea face Iraq on 25. March and Kuwait or Jordan on 29. March

24 January 2011

Jo Tong-Sop Vows To Build An Adventurous North Korea Side

Head coach Jo Tong-Sop has vowed to build an a more adventurous North Korea side in the future.

By Stefan Coerts

North Korea put in some impressive defensive performances at the 2011 Asian Cup and conceded only two goals in the group stage. The Chollima failed to score any goals themselves though and were thus unable to qualify for the knockout stages.

Head coach Jo Tong-Sop wasn't too disappointed with North Korea's early elimination and pointed out that the team has learned some important lessons.

Jo added that he's looking to build on a more adventurous North Korea side in the future and is confident that some youngsters can make the step up to the senior side.

"We got good experience during this tournament. We learnt that defending is important but that attacking is more important. Using the experience gained in this tournament, we will try to be more attacking in the future," Jo was quoted as saying on the official FIFA website.

"Our U-20 team has good players technically, and also in defence and midfield, so we will try to combine the young players with the senior ones. And we will try to display our abilities more in terms of attacking in the future."


20 January 2011

Iraq 1-0 DPR Korea

Doha: Iraq advanced to the quarter-finals of this year's AFC Asian Cup finals after Kerrar Jasim's first-half goal secured a 1-0 win over DPR Korea in their final group D game at Al Rayyan Stadium on Wednesday.

The midfielder scored the only goal on the night after 22 minutes to steer his side to their second win in the competition and secure their place in the knockout stage.

After a slow start from both teams, Iraq began to threaten Ri Myong-guk's goal and they almost took the lead in the 17th minute when Mustafa Kareem met Mahdi Kareem's corner with a forceful downward header but the ball bounced up and hit the underside of the bar before being cleared to safety.

However, Iraq's pressure paid off five minutes later when Mustafa Kareem's shot was parried by Ri but Jassim was first to get to the loose ball and he slid home into the empty net.

Needing to win to keep their last eight hopes alive, DPR Korea looked to hit back and Jong Tae-se called Mohammed Kassid into action with a free-kick from distance.

Jong had another chance five minutes later when he forced his way into the area but his powerful shot hit the side netting two minutes before Pak Nam-chol fired over the crossbar.

Iraq almost ended the first-half with a two-goal advantage when Jasim's good work down the left flank ended with a fizzing cross that Mustafa Kareem met ahead of a Korean defender but steered a volley well wide from six yards.

DPR Korea were the better side in the second-half and Ryang Yong-gi unleashed a powerful shot eight minutes into the second period but Kassid proved equal to his effort.

Iraq replied shortly afterwards and Jasim saw a fierce effort fly just over the crossbar before again trying his luck in the 75th minute but his shot only found the side netting.

The Koreans continued to press and Jong had another sight of goal when he collected the ball inside the area but could not beat Kassid, who was well positioned to make the save.

DPR Korea had another opening eight minutes before the end when skipper Hong Yong-jo found some space on the edge of the box but his shot was deflected wide as Iraq held on to their narrow advantage.


15 January 2011

YouTube : Iran - North Korea , Second half

YouTube : Iran - North Korea , first half

Iran 1-0 DPR Korea

Doha: Iran became the first side to book their place in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ quarter-finals as Karim Ansari Fard's goal midway through the second-half secured a narrow 1-0 victory over DPR Korea.

Ansari Fard got on the end of Pejman Nouri's cross to break the deadlock in the 63rd minute at Qatar Sports Club Stadium as Iran claimed their second consecutive victory in Group D following the opening 2-1 triumph over neighbours Iraq.

The opening exchanges saw plenty of commitment from both sides but chances were hard to come by and it took until the 16th minute for Jong Tae-se to warm the hands of Iran keeper Mahdi Rahmati, with An Young-hak driving the rebound well off target from outside the box.

Ansari Farid then saw a goal ruled out for handball as the game settled into a midfield battle before Jong once again was presented with a sight of goal five minutes from the break after a ball was lifted over the Iran defence, but the striker's angled shot was held by Rahmati.

That prompted a flurry of action as Kim Kuk-jin tried his luck from some way out but his effort flew well wide before Nouri sliced a volley from the edge of the box horribly off target after the midfielder had made a late run.

The second period began in much the same vein as the opening half.

Mohammad Reza Khalatbari's weak shot was easily dealt with at the near post by Ri Myong-guk in the 58th minute but five minutes later, Iran took the lead.

Nouri latched onto a throw in down the left flank and whipped in a cross that Ansari Fard managed to steer past the diving Ri and into the far corner to send the lively Iranian support into raptures.

Cha Jong-hyok's low shot from 25 yards forced Rahmati into a low save as he scrambled across his goal to palm the ball away to safety.

The North Koreans did begin to show more attacking urgency after falling behind and nearly snatched a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time.

Hong Yong-jo managed to escape the attentions of the Iran defence to collect a low cross, before swivelling and firing a powerful shot from 12 yards, only to see his effort graze the top of the Iran crossbar, much to the forward's anguish as Iran closed out the victory.


11 January 2011

North Korea and UAE draw 0-0 after Koreans miss penalty

DOHA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - North Korea and United Arab Emirates produced the first 0-0 draw of the Asian Cup on Tuesday after the Koreans missed a first-half penalty in an evenly-matched Group D match at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium.

The Koreans squandered the chance to take an early lead after eight minutes when Hong Yong-jo failed from the penalty spot after UAE defender Hamdam Ismaeel sent Korean striker Jong Tae-se sprawling in the box after nudging him in the back.

Malaysian referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh awarded him a yellow and not a red card, then the UAE had another let-off when Hong cracked his penalty against the bar.

An entertaining first half produced 14 goal attempts from both sides, although most of them were well off target.

The UAE’s best clearcut chance before the break came after 32 minutes when midfielder Amer Rahman set up Ismail Matar with a perfect through ball but Rahman’s acrobatic volley flew wide of goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk’s right-hand post.

The second half was more of a war of attrition with both defences dominating and although the play continued to switch from end to end, there were few other real scoring chances to entertain the 3,600 fans, the lowest crowd of the tournament so far.

The best save of the match came in the last minute when goalkeeper Ri dived smartly to stop what would have been a late winner for the UAE, hoping to improve on their poor showing in 2007 when they failed to get past the group stage.

10 January 2011

North Korean translator is gatekeeper at Asian Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP)—North Korea’s national team has a simple message for media at the Asian Cup: don’t ask us anything about the isolated country or its regime.

The team’s translator batted away questions Monday on conditions in the country with a curt “come, visit North Korea” and refused to allow the team’s coach Jo Tong Sop to answer it. Other no-go areas included a question about reports of players being sent to a labor camp after its 2010 World Cup failures.

Even Jo responded to a question about possibly facing South Korea in the knockout stage with a gruff insistence that he would only discuss its next opponent, the United Arab Emirates.

Jo dismissed suggestions that the country was closed off, saying he watched occasional Premier League and Bundesliga matches.

04 January 2011

YouTube : Bahrain 0-1 North Korea

North Korea beats Bahrain 1-0 in friendly

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP)—A second-half goal from substitute Chol Hyok gave North Korea a 1-0 victory over Bahrain on Tuesday in a warm-up match before the Asian Cup.

Hyok, who replaced Choe Kum Chol at halftime, collected a cross from Pak Chol Min on the left and fired past Bahrain goalkeeper Mahmood Mansoor.

The North Koreans, who played at last year’s World Cup in South Africa, will face a daunting task in Group D as they take on defending champion Iraq, three-time champions Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain is in Group C with Australia, India and South Korea.

Tuesday’s defeat followed a 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia in Bahrain’s previous friendly held at the same venue. This time, Bahrain was without new skipper Salman Isa and fullback Abdulla Al Marzooqi, who both tore muscles during the defeat by the Saudis.

The North Koreans were meanwhile lifted by news from Germany where their striker Jong Tae-Se, who plays for second division side Bochum, has been released by his club for the Asian Cup.

The 26-year-old forward has been suffering from a persistent knee injury and his club had hoped he would remain in Germany to concentrate on fully recovering for the second half of the season. But after talks with the player, Bochum agreed to release him for the tournament.

Bahrain striker Jaycee John, who plays in Turkey for first division club Eskisehirspor, came close to giving his side an early lead, but his spectacular header was cleared off the line by North Korea keeper Ri Myong Guk with a finger-tip save.

North Korea’s best chance of the first half came in the 30th minute. Kim Kuk Jin broke through the Bahraini defence on the right before setting up Min whose shot was stopped by Bahrain keeper Mahmood Mansoor.