Saturday, 23 Feb 2008  Chongqing, China PR Olympic Sports Center

China PR
China PR 3 1-1
1 DPR Korea
DPR Korea
46min. 11/ZHU Ting
55min. 6/WANG Dong
83min. 9/HAO Junmin
34min.3 8/JI Yun Nam

China PR came from behind to beat DPR Korea and claim their first win of the tournament.

Leaders Korea Rep. had tied earlier in the first match of the day versus Japan. This was an important match for DPR Korea, who started 3 points behind both teams, since a 2 goal win over China PR would clinch the title for them. But in a game where JI Yum Nam’s goal gave DPR Korea the lead, hosts China PR’s ZHU Ting and WANG Dong’s goals led to a 3-1 come from behind victory. This result means Korea Rep. are champions followed by Japan, then China PR in 3rd and DPR Korea finish 4th.

DPRK Korea started the game needing at least 2 goals and China PR started the game looking for their first win of a tournament played on home soil. In the 3rd minute DPR Korea goalkeeper RI Myong Guk pulled off a great save from a China PR free kick. Then in the 12th minute WANG Dong charged into the box following an effective switch in play by China PR. They continued to keep the ball well and pressure the box, especially strikers WANG Dong on the right and DU Zhenyu on the left. But time after time their crosses went across the face of goal without being met by anyone. Scorer of two goals so far, JONG Tae Se, was up front as the other 10 men defended stoutly in front of the DPR Korea goal.
DPR Korea got the upper hand in the match however on a fast paced counter attack which resulted in China PR’s goal being breached. In the 34th minute DPR Korea turned a clearance into attack at break neck speed. JONG Tae Se’s outside of the right foot pass went perfectly to JI Yun Nam who dribbled in to the box and his left footed shot slotted into the top left corner. China PR were shocked, as the poured pressure on they had gone behind to their opponent’s first shot at goal. They won a free kick on the edge of the DPR Korea box just before half time and QU Bo’s shot narrowly missed to the left. Despite this as the half came to a close China PR’s WANG Don floating pass to a running QU Bo ended in a through ball into the box where ZHU Ting’s run from half way was rewarded with a goal.

China PR rode the momentum of having scored just before the break into the second half. Firstly in the 46th minute ZHU Ting brought down DU Zhenyu’s left side cross setting up a shot for WANG Dong. This went straight at the keeper but in the 55th minute a Chinese player was put through on goal from a left side through ball. On the far side WANG Dong was waiting to finish into the right corner with his left foot to put them into the lead.
They had gone behind having been leading but the momentum was to change again for DPR Korea. China PR’s DU Zhenyu second warning in the 56th minute lead to him being sent off. DPR Korea’s numerical advantage meant AN Yong Hak had an attempt to score in the 63rd minute from a free kick. In the 68th minute RI Jun Il hit a low right footed shot from range. Then in the 77th minute substitute KIM Kum Il dribbled solo down the left towards goal. Somehow China PR’s desperate defense kept them out and after that mid-field pillar AN Yong Hak came off for the more attacking RYANG Yong Gi. They had gambled to go for the win. But in the 83rd minute China PR’s WANG Xiao scored directly from a free kick to make it 3-1. This resulted in a huge response from the 30,500 fans at the stadium. After that, XU Yunlong came off for the 7 minute extra time making it 9 versus 11 on the pitch but they never gave up a goal and claimed their first win of the tournament.

China PR’s Coach Vladimir PETROVIC got a victory in their last match and summarized the tournament by saying “From an overall perspective we displayed our toughness in all three matches. In the Korea Rep game (the tournament’s opening match) I believe their last goal (the deciding goal) was offside and if our luck had been better we could have won the tournament. There was a lot of pressure on the players both domestically and internationally and you could feel that during the games”. DPR Korea’s coach KIM Jong Hun said “All four teams playing in this tournament are of a high level and I am glad we had such a good opportunity. We had hoped for a better result so we are a little disappointed (by our final standing).

Text by YOSHIDA Taro




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