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DPR Korea edge Tajikistan for title

Ahmedabad: Pak Hyon-Il was the hero as DPR Korea lifted the Intercontinental Cup with a 1-0 win over Tajikistan in the final at the Trans Stadia in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Substitute Pak scored in the 71st minute as DPR Korea, having defeated Tajikistan 1-0 in their earlier meeting, made it a double over the Central Asians.

DPR Korea deserved the victory as they dominated from the start, although a goal eluded both teams as they went into the break level.

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Despite Tajikistan seeing more of the ball, the Koreans continued to press in the second half and Pak's introduction had the desired effect as his effort was deflected into the goalmouth.

Tajikistan came tantalisingly close to equalising in the 85th only for Tokhir Maladustov's header to rebound off the woodwork and Muhhamadjon Rahimov heading across a gaping goalmouth.

Both teams will now turn their attention to the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

DPR Korea were drawn in Group H with Korea Republic, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka while Tajikistan will face Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar and Mongolia in Group F.

Photos: All India Football Federation

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