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Group D - MD1: DPR Korea 1-2 Jordan

Buriram: Jordan survived a late scare to earn a valuable 2-1 win against DPR Korea and move to the top of Group D of the AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 on Friday.

Coach Abdullah Abu Ismael’s men started on the front foot and had their first big chance of the match after 11 minutes when Yazan Al Naimat embarked on a solo run, overtaking two defenders to go through on goal, but his tame finish was caught by goalkeeper Kang Ju-hyok.

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Mohammed Bani Atieh tried his luck in the 26th minute, cutting inside from the left and firing low, but Kang was alert to the threat and made the save.

Jong Kum-song found himself in hot water in the last minute of the first half after he tripped Al Naimat inside the box. Bani Atieh stepped up and slotted the resulting spot-kick to send Jordan into the dressing room with a goal advantage.

The same pattern continued in the second half with Jordan dominating and nearly doubling their lead three minutes after the restart. DPR Korea defender Jong failed to clear Danial Afaneh’s long ball, and it fell into the path of Al Naimat who moved clear on goal, but Kang Ju-hyok produced a world-class save to parry the forward’s placed finish.

Substitute Omar Hani added Jordan’s second with a quarter of an hour to go after a well-worked attacking move.

Bani Atieh received the ball on the right wing and delivered a pinpoint cross for Ali Olwan whose header at the far post beat the Korean goalkeeper, but bounced off the crossbar. Hani was in the right place at the right time to nod on the rebound into the empty net.

DPR Korea did not give up and piled the pressure on their opponents for the remainder of the match. Pak Kwang-chon saw his piledriver from distance parried by goalkeeper Abdullah Al Fakhori and Jang Song-il sent his header into the upright from point-blank range to the dismay of his teammates and coach.

As the game drew to a close, DPR Korea finally managed to find the back of the net. Pak’s header following an out-swinging corner was helped on its way by substitute Ryang Hyon-ju.

His goal would prove to be mere consolation as Jordan assumed the summit of the group ahead of their encounter against Vietnam on Monday while DPR Korea will chase their first point against the UAE earlier on the same day.

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