North Korea's April 25 lose AFC Cup tie in Bangladesh


Top North Korean side April 25 SC (Sports Club) travelled to Bangladesh to face Abhahani Dhaka in the AFC Cup Inter-Zone Semi-Final first leg.

4.25 SC loses to Dhaka in entertaining semi

4.25 SC were defeated in Bangladesh's capital as they go in search of qualifying for the Inter-Zone final. I believe 4.25 SC were slight favourites in this match, so it comes as some surprise to see them losing 4-3.

In the 33rd minute, Sohel Rana put Dhaka 1-0 up, however, the lead didn't last long with 4.25 equalising 2 minutes later with a banger from Choe Jong-Hyok. After this, the game turned into one of those real ding-dong battles. Dhaka went 2-1 up, then it got pulled back to 2-2, and then it ended 4-3 to Dhaka.

Those 3 away goals are going to come in very handy for 4.25 because if the game is tied there is more possibility that 4.25 will benefit from the away goals rule now. I doubt it will even come to away goals though because not many teams travel to Pyongyang and come away with a positive result.

The last team who tried that was Home United from Singapore and got hammered 9-0 in the leg that took place in Pyongyang.

On the flip side of the coin, Benfica Macau travelled to North Korea and flew back to Macau with 3 points, but admittedly that wasn't against 4.25. What that game with Benfica Macau does show though is that Pyongyang is not invincible.  When it comes to the AFC Cup though, the May Day stadium in Pyongyang has been somewhat of a fortress for the home side.

What money on the North Korean's dicking around with the Bangladeshi's hotel too, just like how the South American sides are famous for making the visitors stay a real hell, maybe the North Korean's do this too. Who knows, who cares other than me? 

North Korean sides don't travel well

North Korean sides don't travel well in the AFC Cup, especially in the latter stages and I have two theories as to why:

1. They arrange the details so that the side can arrive in the country where they're playing as late as possible. Sides would do this to save money, but it doesn't give any benefit to the side who do arrive late, and as a matter of fact, will impact on the team quite negatively.

2. I've touched upon this before, but one thing that could be holding backsides from North Korea in this competition is that the level of competition from other sides in the Eastern zone isn't high enough to give 4.25 a big enough challenge. Sides from Macau, Taiwan, Mongolia, and even Hong Kong are swatted aside as 4.25 stride into the final rounds every season.

They have to get to the final rounds every season to be assured of decent level competition, but by the time that competition does come around complacency may have set in, or a billy big bollocks attitude. Either way, both complacency and a billy big bollocks attitude aren't constructive to a team doing well.

So there you have it, that is my theory as to why 4.25 often do badly away from home, but return back to North Korea to more often than not absolutely give teams a right old hammering.

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