A pair of goals bookending 90 minutes of spirited play saw DPR Korea open the EAFF E-1 Championship Men’s Round 2 with a 2-0 win over feisty Chinese Taipei on Sunday afternoon at Hong Kong’s Mong Kok Stadium.
The two sides traded attacks early in the match, and Chinese Taipei striker Wu Chun-Ching drew a free kick deep in enemy territory in the eighth minute that was regrettably wasted.
DPRK made their own attempt on goal soon after, with Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Chiu Yu-Hung forced to fend off several efforts. Despite some big saves early on, he was helpless to stop Pak Song Chol’s 16th-minute corner kick when it went into the net.
While defender Pak Myong Song was credited with the goal, the ball appears to have potentially deflected off of Chinese Taipei defender Chen Ting-Yang.
With the neutral crowd on their side, Chinese Taipei responded with inspired stretches of play but struggled to create chances on goal, a trend that continued through the final whistle.
The second half started with cagy play, and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Po-Liang and DPRK’s Kim Kuk Bom were both shown yellow cards after a scuffle at the hour mark.
Soon after sending on Kim Ju Song to relieve Myong Cha Hyon in the 64th minute, DPRK coach Jorn Andersen was forced to make a second switch when Pak Myong Song appeared to seriously injure his right leg while chasing down a Chinese Taipei attacker.
Andersen would not see Pak’s replacement, defender Sim Hyon Jin, score the team’s second goal of the match through a smooth grounder in the 87th minute; just 10 minutes earlier the Norwegian had been ejected for arguing with the officials.
The result was disappointing for Chinese Taipei coach Kazuo Kuroda, who was promoted from his position as the head of the country’s youth program on Wednesday.