Bangkok: DPR Korea started their AFC U-23 Championship 2016 qualifying campaign with a 4-0 win over the Philippines at the Rajamangala Stadium in Thailand on Friday.
Ra Pong-gi’s side led the match 2-0 at the break before two substitutes added two more goals after the interval in the Group G game.
Ri Hyong-jin opened the scoring on 17 minutes before So Kyong-jin doubled the lead with a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time.
Jang Ok-chol, who came off the bench to replace Ho Myong-chol on 57 minutes, made it 3-0 five minutes later.
Pak Hyon-il, substitute for Mun Hyok on 14 minutes, scored the North Koreans’ fourth and final goal on 80 minutes.
DPR Korea will next play Cambodia while the Jim Fraser-led Philippines will take on hosts Thailand on Sunday.
Ten group winners and five best second-placed teams from all groups will join hosts Qatar at the AFC U-23 Championship 2016, with January’s 16-team competition also serving as Asia’s qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games in Rio.