India is all set to host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scheduled to kick off on 6th October. 24 countries from six confederations will be competing for one of the biggest honours in youth football with the matches being hosted in six cities across the country.
In this segment, we take a look at the DPR Korea U-17 team and guide you through their journey to the world cup, highlighting their achievements, key players, coach and much more. The East Asian nation will compete in Group D alongside heavyweights Brazil, Spain and Niger.
Country: DPR Korea
Coach: Yun Jong Su
PAST RECORDS AND LAURELS
DPR Korea's first bid for the FIFA U-17 World Cup dates all the way back in the year 1986. They qualified in the year 2004 when the Young Chollima side finished the Asian campaign as runners-up. Their campaign in the 2005 edition of the U-17 World Cup was rather successful as they ended up reaching the quarter-finals of the tournament, which to date is their best finish. DPR Korea won their first continental title in 2010 to seal their appearance at the Mexico 2011. They have progressed beyond the group phase on three occasions – 2005, 2007 and also 2015 where they were eliminated in the Round of 16 by eventual runners-up Mali.
ROAD TO U-17 WORLD CUP
DPR Korea made it to the U-17 World Cup at the back of just two wins in regular time at the U-16 Championship, where they were the defending champions. They were placed in a relatively easy group with teams like Yemen, Thailand and Uzbekistan. The Korean outfit first defeated Thailand comprehensively by a scoreline of 4-1 followed by another 2-0 win against Yemen to enter the knockout stages despite defeat to a motivated Uzbek side. Qualification for this year's edition in India came via a penalty shoot-out win over Oman, before a defeat on penalties against Iran in the semi-final.
TEAM COACH AND STYLE OF PLAY
DPR Korea's Yun Jong Su is a highly experienced figure in his native land having enjoyed a lengthy international playing career, before embarking on a prosperous coaching career. He featured in several FIFA World Cup campaigns commencing with qualifiers for Mexico 86. He has had the experience of leading North Korean teams across various age groups as coach. He even led the senior national team during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. His most notable success to date as a coach is winning the AFC U-20 Championship back in 2010. His teams thrive on retaining possession and put emphasis on organising themselves into a compact defensive block when the opposition team attack. When going forward they rely heavily upon counter-attacking football.