Goa: Captain Kim Pom-hyok equalised late then scored the decisive spot kick as holders DPR Korea kept their AFC U-16 Championship defence alive and booked a semi-final date with the Islamic Republic of Iran after seeing off Oman 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the last eight on Monday.
An even opening 45 minutes at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium saw DPR Korea's Yun Min miss from the spot, before substitute Muadh Al Jahdhami put Oman in front on 79 minutes.
But the East Asians hit back five minutes later through Pom-hyok and with no further goals the tie was decided on penalties.
Both sides netted two of their first three spot kicks but after Cha Kwang put the Koreans 3-2 to the good Al Jahdhami missed and Kim Pom-hyok kept his composure to secure a 4-2 shootout victory.
The win also guaranteed DPR Korea’s progression to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup as one of the tournament’s four highest-placed finishers.
Oman had the first strike on target when three-goal forward Arshad Al Alawi’s low drive from distance was comfortably gathered by goalkeeper Sin Tae-song on 13 minutes.
The East Asians hit back almost immediately as the outstretched Pom-hyok fired just over after getting on the end of Yun's corner from the right.
As an open game ensued Thamir Al Zaabi drew Sin Tae-song into a low diving save from 15 yards in the 13th minute before DPR Korea were awarded a penalty midway through the half.
Khalid Al Baraa’s shove on the recently introduced Ri Kang-guk earned the defender a yellow card, but Yun was unable to take advantage as his spot kick struck the outside of the left post and parity was maintained.
Yun then tried to make amends on the half hour when he lashed in a powerful effort from 25 yards that was parried out by ‘keeper Yousuf Al Sheyadi.
And the Koreans should have gone into the interval a goal to the good but Pom-hyok headed Han Kyong-hun’s delivery from the left straight at Al Sheyadi in first-half stoppage time.
Oman had their best chance of the game eight minutes after the restart when Mohammed Al Alawi cut back to unmarked Al Jahdhami, whose left-foot effort from 15 yards sailed over the crossbar.
With the tie firmly in the balance it was the East Asians who had the next sight on goal 65 minutes in as Sin Kwang-sok slipped in Kye Tam only for the midfielder to scuff narrowly wide.
But as the half wore on it was Oman who looked the more likely to open the scoring and so it proved with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Mohammed Al Alawi again played in Al Jahdhami and the forward cut in from the right before firing low past Sin Tae-song to spark joyous celebrations on the Oman bench.
The goal spurred the defending champions into life, though, and Pom-hyok levelled on 84 minutes after heading home Kwang-sok’s inch-perfect cross from the right.
With no extra-time played at the AFC youth tournament, the tie went directly to penalties and Kye struck first for DPR Korea before Tae-song saved from Arshad Al Alawi’s to allow Yun to open up a two-goal advantage.
Mohammed Al Qaidi netted and Al Sheyadi tipped Kim Kyong-sok's effort onto the bar before Yousuf Al Malki restored parity at 2-2.
Cha put the Koreans back in front before Al Jahdhami struck the woodwork and Pom-hyok put DPR Korea into the semi-final.
Goa: Kim Pom-hyok’s double helped get defending champions DPR Korea off to a winning start at the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 as the East Asians secured a 2-0 scoreline over Yemen in Group D on Saturday.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock in a hard-fought opening 45 minutes at GMC Stadium, but the holders took control after the interval and opened the scoring on the hour through captain Kim Pom-hyok.
The influential skipper then fired in a fine free-kick from distance to double his side’s tally, before Yemen substitute Muneef Jassar missed from the spot as DPR Korea saw out a comfortable victory.
Cheered on by a noisy contingent of Yemen fans in the stands, the match began in even fashion with Kim Hwi-hwang and Yousef Kandash exchanging off-target efforts at either end inside the opening 10 minutes.
Abdullah Hussein was more accurate with a free-kick from the left before the quarter-hour mark but his shot did not overly trouble DPR Korea goalkeeper Sin Tae-song who was alert to the danger.
On 22 minutes Murad Murshed slipped in Abdullah Zahrah, who stepped inside his marker but his shot was smothered by Sin Tae-song who dove low to his right.
Unable to call on suspended midfielders Kye Tam and Paek Kwang-min, the East Asians began to gain a stronghold on the game as the half hour approached and Kim Chung-jin should have hit the target when he headed Yun Min’s corner from the left over the crossbar from eight yards.
DPR Korea came out full of purpose after the restart and were rewarded with the opening goal of the game after 60 minutes.
Yun Min played a lovely diagonal ball over the top towards Kim Pom-hyok and the captain turned defender Ahmed Abdulghani before coolly slotting under outrushing goalkeeper Aiman Al Suraihi.
With the game now being played out almost entirely in the Yemen half the holders should have doubled their advantage three minutes later but the unchallenged Sin Kwang-sok failed to hit the target from six yards after being picked out by Kung Jin-song.
DPR Korea then gave Yemen a mountain to climb on 75 minutes when the captain curled in a well-struck free-kick from fully 35 yards beyond the reach of Al Suraihi.
But Yemen were handed a lifeline with 12 minutes remaining when they were awarded a penalty after Ri Il-ju brought down substitute Jassar, only for the frontman to see his spot kick saved by Sin Tae-song low to his right.
Kim Pom-hyok then could have scored his hat-trick in the final five minutes but his header from Yun’s corner was pushed out by Al Suhairi.
DPR Korea coach Yun Jong-su: "This match wasn’t so good for us as the players didn’t play to the level I expected. The Yemen team were good in defence and attack, and they created a lot of chances in the first half.
"We came back in the second half and managed to score two goals. We changed some positions and focused more on our forwards and moved players to the front so we could play more attacking. Kim Pom-hyok started out in defence but he is strong and fast so we moved him forward and he managed to score two goals."
Yemen coach Amen Al Sunaini: "I knew it was going to be tough, especially against the champions. Our preparation wasn’t great because of the situation in Yemen. Maybe we were not lucky but I’m happy with the spirit and the performance of the players.
"DPR Korea is a very tough team – I’m not happy with the result but I am happy with the way we fought. We were playing against a team that is very strong physically and they have very fast players. I hope the next match will be better for us."