RUSSIA 2018/UAE 2019 QUALIFIERS: BAHRAIN 0-1 DPR KOREA
Riffa: DPR Korea continued their perfect start to the second preliminary round of joint-qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup with substitute Jong Il-gwan’s first-half goal seeing the Chollima edge Bahrain 1-0 on Thursday.
The 2010 AFC Youth Player of the Year scored just two minutes after coming off the bench to replace So Hyon-uk and with neither side able to add to the scoreline at the Bahrain National Stadium, Jong’s goal was enough for DPR Korea to make it three wins out of three.
The North Koreans’ victory consigned Bahrain to their second straight defeat following their 2-1 loss to the Philippines in their Group H curtain raiser, leaving the Gulf side fourth in the five-team table above Yemen, who lost their third successive match after going down 1-0 to Uzbekistan.
Bahrain and Yemen will be desperate for their first points when the two meet in Doha on Tuesday, with DPR Korea resuming their campaign next month when they host the Philippines.
The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup.