North Korea defeats Bahrain to reach the quarterfinals.
The North Korean national soccer team defeated Bahrain 2-0 in the round of 16 at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (local time) at the Zhejiang Sabodae East Stadium in Jinhua, China.
North Korea started with Kang Ju-hyok, Jang Kook-chol, Kim Kyong-seok, Kim Yoo-sung, Ri Il-sung, Kang Kuk-chol, Baek Cheong-sung, Kim Kuk-beom, Kim Pom-hyok, Ri Cho-guk, and Kim Kuk-jin.
The Asian Games marked North Korea’s return to international competition after a five-year absence. North Korea sat out the Tokyo Olympics after closing its borders following the outbreak of COVID-19. The country was also suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Beijing Winter Games.
North Korea’s soccer team was drawn in Group F with Indonesia, Chinese Taipei, and Kyrgyzstan. North Korea breezed through the group stage with three wins. They defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their first match and beat both Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia 1-0 to top the group with nine points.
The potential for a round of 16 North-South matchup was a major concern as North Korea was placed in Group F, where they will play South Korea in the round of 16. However, with both North Korea and South Korea topping their groups, a head-to-head matchup would not be possible until the final. North Korea will face Group E runner-up Bahrain in the round of 16, while South Korea will face Group F runner-up Kyrgyzstan.
North Korea took control of the game and rattled the net in the 36th minute. From a set piece, captain Jang Kuk Chol scored with a header, but the goal was disallowed due to a foul. North Korea eventually got back on the board. In first-half stoppage time, Kim Kyong-seok sent in a cross from the right flank that was headed in by Kang Kook-chol to take the lead.
North Korea added another goal in the second half. In the 16th minute of the second half, Kim Kuk-bum connected strongly with his left foot near the left side of the penalty box and the ball hit the post and went into the back of the net. North Korea held on for the win with a clean sheet and will play the winner of the round of 16 match between Japan and Myanmar in the quarterfinals. 레모나토토
Following North Korea, Hwang Sun-hong’s U-24 team will face Kyrgyzstan in the round of 16 at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (local time).