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MD2 - Group H: Turkmenistan 0-2 Korea Republic

Ashgabat: Korea Republic’s Asian Qualifiers campaign got off to a winning start as the East Asians defeated Turkmenistan 2-0 in their Group H tie for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 at the Köpetdag Stadium on Tuesday. 

Na Sang-ho’s goal separated the sides in the first half before goals from xxxx gave Paulo Bento’s men the three points.

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Turkmenistan, who defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 on Matchday One, were eager to build on their momentum but fell behind in the 17th minute when Na latched on to a deflection off Jung Woo-young’s cross from the right to smash home the opener.

Ante Mise’s men tried to find their way back into the game and came close to scoring in the 27th minute but Wahyt Orazsähedow’s drive from inside the box was kept out by Korea Republic goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu.

Korea Republic had a goal disallowed in the 38th minute when Kim Jin-su was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box before finishing off Lee Yong’s pass from the right.

Orazsähedow had a chance to put the Central Asians level in the 43rd minute but the forward was unable to convert from the edge of the box as Korea Republic took a 1-0 lead going into the break.

Urged on by a partisan home crowd, Turkmenistan started the second half with purpose and almost found the back of the net in the 55th when Orazsähedow lost his marker at the edge of the box before laying off beautifully for the advancing Myrat Yagsyyev, who couldn’t finish from close range.

Korea Republic, however, continued to dominate and Jung sealed the three points when he curled in his free-kick in the 80th minute.

Korea Republic, seeking a 10th consecutive appearance in the FIFA World Cup, will host Sri Lanka on October 10 while Turkmenistan will be away to Lebanon on the same day.

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