North Korea, Myanmar start AFC Challenge campaign in style(Lead)

July 31st, 2008 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

By Abhishek Roy
Hyderabad, July 31 (IANS) North Korea and Myanmar registered an identical 3-0 win in their Group B matches of the AFC Challenge Cup at the Gachibowli Stadium here Thursday. Korea, the top ranked team in this tournament at 94, gave a dominating performance against Sri Lanka. A brace from Song Chol Pak (6th and 9th) and an own goal from Peiris Manuwel said the story of Korean domination.

In the other match, Nepal did well to hold back Myanmar till the 65th minute before the floodgates were opened. Goals from Win Thein Yaza (66th), Min Tun Myo (73rd) and Myat Min Soe (84th) sealed the match.

Both Korea and Myanmar are tied at the top of Group B with three points each.

It took just six minutes for Korea to punch a hole in the Sri Lankan defence after a relentless attack and it continued for another half an hour to get the two remaining goals also. At that stage, the Koreans looked good for many more. In fact, they had six more shots at the target.

Sri Lanka were unfortunate to be on the back-foot right from the start after their defender Manuwel, while trying to clear the ball off a flag kick, found the net to hand Korea an early advantage.

Three minutes later, Song Chol put Korea 2-0 from a free-kick, his scorching right footer giving Sri Lankan goalkeeper Viraj Asanka no time to react. Song Chol got his second goal from a goalmouth melee in the 25th minute.

The Korean attack was initiated Left-winger Yong Li Yung made some brilliant runs down to set up the lone striker Jong Min Ho who came close to finishing.

The Sri Lankans gradually settled down, but hardly looked like posing any real threat to the Korean goal.

The Koreans kept pressing to increase the tally, but somehow they just could not beat the goalkeeper.

For Sri Lanka, all is not lost as they have still to play Nepal and Myanmar in their group.

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