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MD6 - Group H: Lebanon 0-0 DPR Korea

Beirut: Lebanon and DPR Korea could not be separated as they shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw at the Sports City Stadium in Beirut to stay equal at eight points each in Group H of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers.

The result meant both teams failed to capitalise on a chance to end 2019 as the group leaders, with Turkmenistan to head into 2020 top of the standings with nine points.

Korea Republic, who were not in Asian Qualifiers action on Tuesday, are second on eight points, ahead of Lebanon and DPR Korea on goal difference.

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Despite Lebanon’s dominance throughout extended periods of the first half, the best chance of the half actually fell the visitors’ way when Il Gwan Jong fired low from 30 yards out, but his effort narrowly missed the target.

The hosts had to wait until the 53rd minute to get their clearest chance when Hassan Matouk’s cross into the box was met by Hilal El Helwe.

His attempt was parried by goalkeeper Kwang Il Ri, but the ball fell to Rabih Ataya whose follow through from close range was smothered by the DPR Korea goalkeeper.

Nour Mansour came close for Lebanon in the 66th minute, but his header was miscued under the pressure of the Korean defenders and the score remained level.

Lebanon piled the pressure in the final minutes in pursuit of a winner, and Matouk was again the creative force, setting up El Helwe after dribbling into the byline and crossing from the right for the number 9 who blazed his shot high over the crossbar with nine minutes to go.

DPR Korea will next be in action on March 26 against Sri Lanka while Lebanon will face Turkmenistan five days later.

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