North Korea 4-0 India
13/03/12, Dasarath Rangasala Stadium, Kathmandu, Nepal
AFC Challenge Cup Group B
Scorers: Jon Kwang Ik, Ri Kwang Hyok, Pak Nam Chol, Ri Chol Myong

North Korea easily retained the Unofficial Football World Championships title, and progressed to the knock-out stage of the AFC Challenge Cup, with this routine win over a pitiful India.

This was the final group match for both sides, with North Korea having already qualified for the semi finals, and India having already been eliminated. India, the Blue Tigers, lost both of their previous group matches 2-0, to Tajikistan and the Philippines. This was India’s first ever UFWC title match, and it was a tough introduction to the tournament.

The venue was the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium – a much larger ground than we saw for the previous two matches, with a capacity of 17,500, and the game was soundtracked by much whooping, and clanging of Nepalese bells.

North Korea went ahead after just two minutes, with Jon Kwang Ik finding plenty of space in the penalty area to knock the ball into the far corner of the net across keeper Subhasish Roychowdhury.

India’s key tactic seemed to be for Roychowdhury to continuously boot long balls up to captain and centre forward Sunil Chhetri. It didn’t work.

Credit, though, to India for somehow holding out for another 30 minutes before North Korea scored again, this time through Ri Kwang Hyok, who tapped in after Roychowdhury’s parry.

North Korea had the ball in the net again before half-time, but, despite initial confusion, Jong Il Gwan’s strike was ruled out by the referee. The first half ended 2-0 to North Korea.

The North Korean lead was extended in the 58th minute, with the Indian defence presenting the ball to Pak Nam Chol in the penalty area, and the in-form striker easily strolling around defenders and goalkeeper to walk the ball into the net. It was Pak Nam Chol’s third goal in three games.

North Korea’s fourth goal was probably the best, as Ri Chol Myong arrived to meet a whipped-in cross at the far post, and powered a great header past Roychowdhury.

With twenty minutes left to play, the North Koreans continued to dominate without really creating any further clear chances. There were no further goals, and the match ended 4-0 to North Korea, a stroll in the park for the Unofficial Football World Champions.

So North Korea retain the UFWC title, and take it into the knock-out stage of the AFC Challenge Cup. They also move up the UFWC all-time rankings table, and are now level with Poland and Nigeria (and above the likes of Portugal, the USA and South Korea) in 33rd place.

North Korea will play Palestine in the semi finals on Friday, 16 March. (The other semi final, on the same day, is Turkmenistan vs the Philippines.) Up for grabs will be a place in the AFC Challenge Cup final, and of course the UFWC title.

Palestine have never played in a UFWC title match before. They beat Nepal and the Maldives, and drew with Turkmenistan, to reach the semi finals. FIFA ranks Palestine 160th in the world, compared to North Korea at 111th. The two sides have never played each other previously.

It would be remarkable if Palestine could become Unofficial Football World Champions given the political restrictions and security concerns the national team has to contend with. If they did win, they would be the only UFWC champions not to be officially recognised by the United Nations as a country.

You can find coverage of the match right here, and on our Twitter feed (@UFWC_Football).

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About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

11 thoughts on “North Korea 4-0 India

  1. Pawel

    If Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were champions officially recognised by the United Nations as a countries??? 😮

  2. Paul Brown Post author

    @Pawel Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom.
    @Netzakh The Netherlands Antilles no longer exists, its FIFA and UFWC records have passed to Curacao.

  3. Fermentum

    Thanks for the update Paul. Always look forward to UFWC games. Thought this time I should post to say your doing a great job!

    I really hope it goes to the Euro. Have you worked out if its possible? Probably won’t know what games will be scheduled in after AFC Challenge Cup?

    Look forward to Friday!

  4. joe

    It’s outrageously unlikely that the UFWC will be played for at the Euro. FIFA doesn’t list any friendly matches for any of these squads after this tournament and I’m fairly certain all the Euro competing teams have their warm-up friendlies all set up. Most of these teams probably wouldn’t schedule friendlies with European teams anyways except maybe Turkmenistan who played Romania earlier in the year.

    There’s still an outside shot, there always is, but don’t look forward to seeing the UFWC at the Euro because you will be disappointed

  5. Paul Brown Post author

    @joe Isn’t it more interesting that the UFWC title is being competed for at the AFC Challenge Cup rather than the Euros though?! The Euros will be of interest worldwide on their own merits. The AFC Challenge Cup is gaining a lot of extra viewers worldwide because of the UFWC!

  6. Rune

    I had never even heard of the AFC Challenge Cup, but yesterday I benched up in front of the computer, with popcorn and stuff, and watched the whole game, as I try to do whenever there’s a ufwc match. Not many people I know have seen India play football.

    I find it very interesting that the title is in the Challenge Cup rather than the European Championship. I’d like it to be in both, if it was up to me, because more matches = more fun, but I love following a new team for a couple of matches. I’m sure the title will be back in Europe or South America in not too long, but in the meantime I’ll just enjoy these weird backstreet teams who are competing for the grand title now. Palestine.. can you imagine?

  7. Paul Brown Post author

    @Rune That is good to know Rune, I am glad you enjoy it. If, as seems likely, North Korea win the AFC Challenge Cup, they have no further fixtures scheduled, and seem unlikely to play any sides outside of Asia in the foreseeable future, so there could be plenty more ‘backstreet teams’ involved!

  8. joe

    @Paul Brown
    Oh no Paul I completely agree with you. This really makes it interesting, a team like North Korea climbing the rankings and countless minnows getting a shot at the title. It really makes it interesting and adds flavour. While we’re all going to watch the Euro either way, the UFWC is shining a spotlight on matches that would otherwise be ignored. Kudos for that. Love this tournament, keep up the good work.

  9. Pawel

    @Paul Brown
    OK – Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were (and still are) part of the United Kingdom, that’s right. But separately these nations were/are not officially recognised by the United Nations as countries. Similary like Palestine (in your way – Palestine can be a part of Isreal). So in your post is a logical mistake. But never mind… You are doing a great job. Cheers from Poland 🙂

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