Wuhan: DPR Korea upset favourites Japan as they beat the Asian giants 2-1 in their EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) East Asian Cup 2015 campaign opener at the Wuhan Sports Center Stadium in China on Sunday.
The Japanese took the lead within three minutes through Urawa Reds star and international debutant Yuki Muto thanks to a Wataru Endo assist.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s side went into the break having maintained their slender advantage, but the North Koreans drew level late on in the second half when Ri Hyok-chol equalised on 78 minutes, before Pak Hyong-il found the net two minutes from time to give Kim Chang-bok’s charges all three points.
In the day's other game, Korea Republic beat China 2-0 to go to the top table above DPR Korea in the four-team tournament.
Pohang Steelers striker Kim Seung-dae opened the scoring on the stroke of half time thanks to a pass from Lee Jae-sung, before Lee Jong-ho doubled their lead on 57 minutes to give Uli Stielike's side the win.
The regional tournament, which is being seen an ideal opportunity for teams to prepare for Spetember's 2018 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup 2019 joint qualifiers, will continue on Wednesday with Japan taking on Korea Republic and China facing DPR Korea.