MD1 - Group H: DPR Korea 2-0 Lebanon
Pyongyang: Captain Jong Il-gwan was a two-goal hero as DPR Korea beat Lebanon 2-0 in their opening Asian Qualifiers Group H match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday.
The tie was a rematch of when the two teams met in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 last January with Lebanon securing a 4-1 win over the East Asians.
However, DPR Korea had gathered a steady momentum coming into the Qualifiers after emerging champions in the 2019 Intercontinental Cup two months ago.
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Playing in front of their home crowd at the Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang, Yun Jong-su's side only took seven minutes to take the lead with Jong opening the scoring.
The visitors returned into the second half looking to salvage a goal, but it was DPR Korea who found the back of the net, with skipper Jong doubling the score in the 56th minute.
Lebanon head coach Liviu Ciobotariu sent on Omar Chaaban shortly after, before Rabih Ataya and Mohamad Kdouh came onto the pitch in the 76th and 84th minutes respectively but DPR Korea held on to secure a vital win.
The East Asians face Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday while Lebanon will only resume their qualifying campaign on October 10 against Turkmenistan.
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