North Korea raced into a 3-0 lead against Bangladesh to make sure they’d get through the last 16 tie without much difficulty. North Korea was the strong favourites coming into this game, and in the end, that tag was fully justified.
Bangladesh was one of the weaker sides in the last 16 and not expected to advance much further, but North Korea got past them by putting on a sleek performance which emphasizes their credentials a bit more as a dark horse
Dodgy pen decision to get the ball rolling
The first North Korean goal came from a penalty by Yu Song-kim. Yu dispatched the pen superbly by placing right into the bottom corner of the goal, if he went any wider it would have hit the post and went out, he didn’t welly it but the placement of the pen was superb.
However, I don’t think it should have been a pen, although the stream I saw didn’t show 400 million angles like sky TV does, they showed one replay angle only 2 or 3 times. With each viewing, the pen seemed to be harsher and harsher on Bangladesh. That meant Bangladesh had to chase the game giving the North Koreans more space to exploit.
North Koreas 2nd and 3rd goal were great
North Korea’s last two goals were excellent, and it seems they are possessing good attacking threat, the 2nd goal Yong Thae-han absolutely hammered into the roof of the net with the ball flying past the keeper. There is something really special about seeing a striker just belt it into the back of the net as hard as he can.
The third goal was scored by Kuk Chol-kang, but all the praise for the goal should go to his teammate So Jong-hyok who won the ball near the Bangladeshi box, skinned some defenders then ran it down the line, and passed it across the box for Kuk to tap in. Lovely stuff indeed, but Bangladesh did get a consolation.
The Bangladeshi consolation was scored by Md Saad Uddin right at the end of the game and was the result of some very dodgy goalkeeping, the type that made Davey James famous throughout his career. The North Korean keeper came running out and tried a flying punch, but missed it and the Bangladeshi fella slotted it in. This shows a real area of weakness for the North Koreans because the keeper looked a bit happy flappy on crosses.
North Korea still dark horses
Out of the two dark horses I predicted for this tournament, North Korea are the only ones left standing as China lost the other day against Saudi Arabia. North Korea is one of those sides that can beat anyone, but also lose to anyone.
We are still saying North Korea is on course to be the dark horses of the 2018 Asian Games, they have enough attacking threat to cause any teams problems. For the winner of the competition though, it is hard to look past their close neighbours South Korea.