Chinese Taipei 1-6 North Korea
1 December 2012
EAFF East Asian Cup Semi Final Competition
Mong Kok Stadium, Hong Kong
Scorers: An Il-Bom, Pak Song-Chol, Ri Kwang-Hyok, Pak Nam-Chol, Ri Myong-Jun (2)
Unofficial Football World Champions North Korea comfortably retained the UFWC title with this easy victory over Chinese Taipei (also known as Taiwan). This was North Korea’s opening match in the EAFF East Asian Cup semi final tournament, which is being held in Hong Kong. The Chollima were 3-0 up at half-time, and scored six goals in all, as they brushed Taipei aside.
An Il-Bom opened the scoring on 28 minutes. The 21-year-old striker has recently been promoted from North Korea’s youth sides. The more familiar faces of Pak Song-Chol and Ri Kwang-Hyok added further goals before half-time.
The excellent Pak Nam-Chol inevitably got on the scoresheet in the second half, making the score 4-0 in the 65th minute. Striker Ri-Myong Jun got the Chollima’s fifth goal two minutes later.
Chinese Taipei enjoyed a sliver of consolation via Chen Hao-wei’s 79th minute goal, but Ri-Myong Jun had the final say, scoring his second and North Korea’s sixth a minute before full time. The final score was 6-1 to North Korea.
The next UFWC title match comes quick and fast on Monday, when North Korea face Guam. It will be a first UFWC appearance for Guam, who were defeated 2-1 by Hong Kong earlier today. Guam is a small US territory in the Western Pacific with a population of less than 160,000. The national team has a British coach in Gary White, who has worked in the US, the British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. After being appointed Guam coach in March, White’s first achievement was to lead the team to qualification for this semi final tournament.
The ‘Matao’ squad includes several players from US universities. Forward Ryan Guy plays for New England Revolution in the MLS. Guam’s goal against Hong Kong was scored by 23-year-old striker Elias Merfalen. But the key player – and main goal threat – is captain and midfielder Jason Cunliffe, who scored four goals in three games during the qualifying round.
North Korea vs Guam will be played at the Mong Kok Stadium on Monday 3 December, kick-off 5.50pm local time (GMT+8). Can North Korea retain the title, or will Guam become one of the most unlikely Unofficial Football World Champions the competition has ever seen?