Bahrain hammer North Korea in Asian Cup warm up

North Korea played their final Asian Cup warm-up match against Bahrain and things didn't quite go to plan as they were resoundingly hammered. They now go into their first group match against Saudi Arabia on the back of that heavy defeat.

Things are not looking good for North Korea

North Korea lost their last warm-up match against Bahrain, being easily beaten 4-0 in the process. This comes on the back of a fairly positive 1-1 draw against a fastly-improving Vietnamese side who will be dangerous in the finals.

The North Koreans will be hoping to show some hugely improved from going into the finals, after underperforming in both friendlies, and also the East Asian Championships where they failed to make the final round in donkey's years. Big pressure will be on their new coach going into the finals.

North Korea has one of the toughest first-round groups in the Asian Cup, and they are looking like they will be facing an uphill battle just to make it through to the second round.

Relying on the best 3rd place finish

If North Korea squeak through the group stage at the Asian Cup, I believe they will most likely be relying on being one of the best 3rd placed sides in the first round. With Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon (who didn't lose to North Korea in Asian Cup qualifying) in their group it is going to be a massive task for them to get through.

The Saudis and Qatar will be most people's favourites to take the top two spots, and then it is a straight out battle between the North Koreans and the Lebanese for a chance to claim that best 3rd placed place. North Korea needs to get that to sneak through the group because it is unlikely they will end the group stage in first or second spot.

North Korea's first game against Saudi Arabia is on the 9th January.

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