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AFC Challenge Cup

  • 9 March 2012
  • • 14:30
  • • Halchowk Rangasala, Kathmandu
  • Referee: P. Singh
  • • Attendance: 1500
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DPR Korea 2-0 Philippines: Holders make a winning start in Group B

DPR Korea 2-0 Philippines: Holders make a winning start in Group B

The defending champions dominated the Azkals in their Group B opener of the Challenge Cup in Nepal...

DPR Korea defeated Philippines 2-0 in an enthralling Group B match of the Challenge Cup 2012 played at the Halchowk stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Friday.

Pak Nam-Chol scored the opener by heading past Neil Etheridge in the 58th minute, while Jang Kuk-Chol (70') ensured three points with an opportunistic strike.

Yun Jong-Su's men dominated the procedings but were faced by some stout defending by the Azkals who were boosted by the presence of Neil Etheridge in between the sticks who arrived just on Wednesday.

The Philippines goalkeeper was intrumental to block Song-chol Pak's penalty which had to be retaken, before Etheridge was beated from the spot - a goal which was ruled out by Indian referee Pratap Singh due to encroachment on DPR Korea players inside the area.

DPR Korea's Jong Il-Gwan was also denied by the inspirational keeper after the former's header was on target from an unmarked position at the far post, minutes before Philippines defender Jason Sabio effected a goal-line clearance off Pak's strike.

In their only chance of the first half, Philippine striker Paul Mulders only managed to blast his shot wide following a deflection off Ángel Guirado Aldeguer's effort who was set-up by team-mate James Younghusband.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 58th minute when DPR Korea's Pak nodded in off an accurate Jong Il-Gwan cross, while Etheridge had seemingly lost his positioning in front of the Philippine goal.

The opener was followed up by a second goal just 11 minutes later, as Etheridge was once again beaten by a long ball that provided Kuk-Chol Jang with enough space and time to slot into the open net.

Although the 18-year-old midfielder seemingly appeared to have clung on to the Philippine custodian, Jang took his side two goals clear into the match which was how it ended.

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