Despite a scoreless draw, Korea REP reigns victorious!
With the possibility of a China PR win in the tournament still remaining, both Korea REP and DPR Korea hoped for a victory in this match.
From the first half Korea REP stepped forward to claim the dominant position in the match, riding the turbulent winds of the players around them.
Though using the same 4-2-3-1 formation as they had in their second match against Japan, the side utilised the efficiency of their squad by changing seven of the players on their starting line-up.
With fresh faces, midfielder KIM SUNGDAE and number ten left-wing LEE JEONGHYEOP gave character to their team’s play whilst striking at the DPR Korea goal. DPR Korea, on the other hand, marked its opponents at every crucial step with a compact 4-4-2 formation.
With repeated shooting that barely missed the target, a critical shot by LEE JAESUNG was likewise blocked by defender RI YONG CHOL. In the second half DPR Korea raised its defensive line in order to recover its posture on the pitch.
Forward RI HYOK CHOL worked closely together with SO HYON UK, who had been substituted into the game in the first half, dribbling the ball up the field to JONG IL GWAN, who had timed his position on the field well enough to pierce the Korea REP half.
Korea REP bided their time and endured the worst of the assaults before regaining the initiative and striking, with KWON CHANGHOON passing the ball to forward LEE JEONGHYEOP for a shot that nearly gave the team the lead.
The team remained undaunted however, and pressured DPR Korea by crossing the ball into their teammates whilst assuming a high position on pitch. DPR Korea substituted into the game tall forward PAK HYON IL, who had recently scored the winning goal against Japan, and increased its long passes to the front.
However, Korea REP created multiple chances with its quick passes and increase in stamina thanks in no small part to JUNG WOOYOUNG’s appearance in midfield. In the 73rd minute, LEE JAESUNG, LEE JEONGHYEOP, and KWON CHANGHOON shot the ball one after the other. However, the DPR Korea blocked every attempt.
With the final minutes boiling down to on the ground battle by the Korea REP team and a mid-air exchange for the DPR Korea side, Korea REP added forward KIM SHINWOOK alongside LEE JEONGHYEOP.
DPR Korea made sure, however, that such efforts came to nil. A pass from the right JEONG DONGHO during lost time allowed KIM SHINWOOK to fire off a shot, forcing goalkeeper RI MYONG GUK to make a fine save. With the blow of the whistle Korea REP, with five points, tentatively remain in first place. The draw negated DPR Korea’s hopes for a victory in the tournament. Notwithstanding, the fans in China demonstrated their enjoyment of the heated performance with loud applause for both teams.