18 March 2012

Young Koreans gunning for glory

Kathmandu: DPR Korea coach Yun Jong-su will pin his 2012 AFC Challenge Cup title hopes on a youthful side that could form the foundations of the Chollima's 2015 AFC Asian Cup squad should they defeat Turkmenistan in Monday's final.

Although he responded that his side would only be revealed at the Dashrath Stadium when a thrilling tournament reaches its conclusion, it is unlikely that the man who led DPR Korea to glory at the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship will deviate too much from the team the easily defeated Palestine 2-0 in Friday's semi-final.

That starting 11 featured no less than eight players aged 25 or under, including a dynamic front line of Jong Il-gwan and Pak Kwang-ryong, both of who are just 19 years old.

Pak, who took part in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup as a precocious 17-year-old, scored both goals in the victory over Palestine in his first match of the tournament having arrived late from Switzerland where he plays for FC Basel.

"We want to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup and we have brought a lot of young players to this squad to give them an opportunity for Australia," a relaxed Yun at the pre-final press conference.

While the North Koreans have a young team in Kathmandu, much has been made of their qualification to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa giving them the edge over the other AFC Challenge Cup participants in terms of top-level international exposure and experience,

Not the case says Yun, who was at the helm of the DPR Korea national team for the unsuccessful bid to reach the 2006 World Cup.

"We have only a few players that took part in the 2010 World Cup so I don't think the fact that we took part gives us any type of psychologically advantage.

"Turkmenistan is a good side and we have analysed their games and have prepared our tactics for the final accordingly.

We have prepared our team with only victory in this match in mind but as for our strategy you will have to watch tomorrow."

source : afc.com

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