KATHMANDU, March 13: Defending champion DPR Korea humiliated South Asian giant India 4-0 to wrap up group stage match of the AFC Challenge Cup maintaining cent percent winning streak on Tuesday at the Dasharath Stadium, Kathmandu.
Korea already qualified for the semifinal from group B also became the only team to win all its matches of the group stage. Korea finished atop the table with nine points, two points ahead of runners up the Philippines which also qualified for semifinal stage with six points.
Korea will meet group A runner up Palestine in the semifinal and the Philippines will lock horn against group A winner Turkmenistan on Friday at the Dasharath Stadium.
India, the champion of 2008 edition, already out from the race of semifinal stage became the team to concede highest eight goals during group stage and also finished only goalless and pointless. Host Nepal of group A is the only other team to finish goalless and pointless. Nepal conceded six goals in total.
India´s coach Savio Medeira said that he will take the full responsibility of India´s defeat and poor show in the performance. "What can a coach do if there is no willingness from the player," Medeira said adding, killer instinct was missing on Indian player.
Regarding the problem of the Indian team, Medira said, "All players are concentrating on next season´s contract and thus they want to avoid injury."
In course of achieving its third straight victory, Korea opened the score in the early third minute and netted three other goals in regular interval including two apiece in either half.
India looked hapless during the entire match and was forced to play defensive. India made only one post attack but off the target. Korea made about a dozen of attempts on the post and played the ball at Indian half for most of the time.
Jon Kwang Ik, Ri Kwang Hyok, Pak Nam Chol and Ri Chol Myong scored one each for the Red Army. Jon Kwang Ik gave an early lead to Korea in the third minute from the area following a weak clearance by India defenders off Pok Nam Chol´s freekick from the left flank.
Ri Kwang Hyok doubled the advantage in the 34th minute from close range in Indian goalie Subhasish Roy Chowdhury´s rebounder off Ri Chol Myong´s powerful low ball strike. Ri Chol Myong was supplied a pass by Jang Myong Il.
Pak Nam Chol made it 3-0 in the 59th minute beating a defender and goalie and then rolling the ball slowly at the empty net in short pass of Ri Kwang Hyok again capitalizing on a defensive error of India team.
Ri Chol Myong sealed the victory in the 70th minute with a header from box in cross of Ri Kwang Hyok off Ri Chol Myong´s pass.
Korean coach Yun Jong Su expressed happiness for finishing on top of the table and winning all its group stage matches. "I am happy to earn highest point and top the group. Now we will try our best in the next two matches of knockout stage."