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2012 AFC Challenge Cup: Philippines follow North Korea into semifinals

The third and final round Group B matches were played at the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup simultaneously in Kathmandu today. Defending champions North Korea, who already were through, met eliminated India on a dead rubber at the Dashrath Stadium, while Tajik...

The third and final round of Group B matches were played at the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup simultaneously in Kathmandu today. Defending champions North Korea, who already were through, met eliminated India in a dead rubber at the Dashrath Stadium, while Tajikistan took on the Philippines at the Halchowk Stadium to decide the other semifinalist from Group B.

Group B

North Korea 4-0 (2-0) India
North Korea got the better of India with a rather easy 4-0 victory at the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in the Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu. Only three minutes were played when Kuk-Chol Jang provided a clever back pass to unmarked Kwang-Ik Jon who coolly guided the ball past Indian keeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury. The Koreans scored their second goal after Subhashish’s weak attempt to clear a Chol-Myong Ri cross fell into the path of an unmarked Kwang-Hyok Ri in the 34th minute. The Koreans’ dominance continued after the break as Nam-Chol Pak scored his second goal of the tournament when he dribbled past three Indian defenders and Subhashish to put the ball in the empty net and make it 3-0 in the 59th minute. Chol-Myong Ri put his name on the score-sheet in the 70th minute with a brilliant header to seal the comprehensive 4-0 win.

Tajikistan 1-2 (1-0) Philippines
The Philippines scored another upset win, this time a 2-1 against Tajikistan at the Halchowk Stadium, Kathmandu in Group B to qualify for the semifinals at the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup. The Philippines had more of the first session, but Tajik defender Alexey Negmatov gave his side a 1-0 lead in injury-time. But things changed in the 54th minute when Angel Guirado robbed Davronjon Ergashev on the left, charged to the byline and fired the ball past Tuychiev and across the face of goal where Phil Younghusband was on hand to fire the ball into the empty net for his third goal of the tournament. The Southeast Asians were back in the driver’s seat and got the winner in the 80th minute when Guirado bravely headed home from close range, with the burly midfielder getting the better of Tuychiev and his defence to send the Azkals through to now face Turkmenistan.

Published with permission from Arunava Chaudhuri.

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