North Korea too good for Sri Lanka in AFC Cup

July 31st, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Abhishek Roy
Hyderabad, July 31 (IANS) Tournament favourites North Korea were too good for Sri Lanka in their opening Group B game of the AFC Challenge Cup and they should have scoreline should have been much more imposing than 3-0 at the Gachibowli Stadium here Thursday. The youthful Korean team is the highest ranked in the tournament at 94, and they showed why they were among the top hundred sides in the world with a dominant display. A brace from Song Chol Pak and an own goal from Peiris Manuwel.

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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