Qualifiers - Group I: Hong Kong, DPR Korea stay perfect
Singapore: Hong Kong defeated Guam 4-1 while DPR Korea cruised to a 6-1 win against Singapore as the two teams recorded their second straight triumphs in Group I of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Thursday.
The wins set up an enticing Matchday 3 clash between Hong Kong, who defeated Singapore 2-1 on Matchday One, and DPR Korea, who downed Guam 16-1 in their opener, on Saturday.
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Guam 1-4 Hong Kong
Hong Kong were quick to settle and took the lead in the fourth minute with Yim Kai Cheuk heading in Hui Zachary’s free-kick.
Guam almost conceded again in the seventh minute but Hong Kong’s Kam Chi Kin sent his long-range effort from the centre just wide.
Hong Kong kept pressing and Yim scored his second in the 38th minute as he finished off Hui Zachary’s corner.
Guam tried their best to get back into the game in the second half but their attacks were easily cut off by Hong Kong.
Hong Kong showed great teamwork in the 51st minute as Lau Yui Hin surged down the middle to set up Lee Tsz Hin, who squared the ball to Matthew Slattery for an easy finish from close range.
However, Guam pulled one back in the 74th minute through Andrew Eddy Stenson who showed good skill in trapping Nainoa Christian Norton’s cross before slamming home from inside the box.
But Hong Kong quickly squashed any hope Guam had of a comeback as Lee Tsz Hin dribbled into the area before squeezing his shot under goalkeeper Mason Cole Bonner.
Singapore 1-6 DPR Korea
It was a cagey affair at the start as both teams canceled each other in midfield but it was Singapore who threatened in the 15th minute when Khairin Nadim Rahim was sent clear into the box but his effort was thwarted by the Korean defence.
DPR Korea got into their stride in the 17th minute when caption Ri Kum-chol almost scored from inside the box when he dribbled past the Singapore defenders but fired his effort over the bar.
Ri Kum-chol then orchestrated the opening goal in the 22nd minute when his defence splitting pass from the left found Ri Il-song, who dribbled into the box before slipping the ball past Singapore goalkeeper Veer Karan Sobti.
DPR Korea extended their lead five minutes later when Ri Kum-chol muscled his way into the box from the right before squaring it for Choe Song-jin for a simple finish.
The East Asians then showed off their attacking prowess from long-range following Yom Chol-gyong’s strike in the 38th minute and almost scored again three minutes later but Veer Karan made a string of saves to deny DPR Korea.
However, Singapore did not give up as they pulled one back in the 43rd minute through Khairin Nadim’s solo effort after the forward pounced on a defensive error as DPR Korea.
Any chance of a Singapore comeback was quickly extinguished in the second half as Choe Ryong-il scored in the 51st minute when his header took a deflection into goal off Kim Kwang-song’s corner.
DPR Korea increased their tally in the 63rd minute through Choe Song-jin and Ri Kum-chol added their sixth goal from the spot in the 73rd minute.
Photos: Football Association of Singapore
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