AFC Challenge Cup: India end campaign with 0-4 loss to North Korea
Kathmandu: India ended their disappointing campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup with a 0-4 loss to North Korea in their last league match at the Dashrath Stadium here Tuesday.
North Korea, who won all their three matches, top Group B and move into the semis with nine points.
Even prior to the kick-off, North Korea stayed overwhelming favourites. Leave aside their superior FIFA ranking, they boasted of seven players that featured in the 2010 World Cup.
Korea never allowed India to settle down. The midfield couldn`t match the rival`s pace and defensive lapses cost India dear. The only chance for India came in the 39th minute but skipper Sunil Chhetri`s left-footer, after being fed by Francis Fernandes, missed the target.
Korea surged ahead as early as the fourth minute when Jon Kwang Ik capitalised on a defensive lapse to slot home. Ri Kwang Hyok doubled the lead in the 34th minute.
Changing over, the story didn`t change. Coach Savio Medeira did introduce fresh legs but even that didn`t help. Pak Nam Chol and Ri Chol Myong completed the rout in the 58th and 70th minute.
In another match, Philippines defeated Tajikistan (2-1) and qualified for the semis as the second team from Group B.