North Korea stamped their authority over Malaysia 4-1 in their Asian Cup Qualifiers Group B game played on neutral ground at the i-Mobile Stadium in Buriram in Thailand on Friday.
After being postponed several times due to Malaysia’s prohibition of their citizens to travel to North Korea, the game, designated to be hosted in Pyongyang, was finally carried on at the Thai north eastern city.
After losing their first meet in the Asian Games bronze medal play-off in Teharan in 1974, North Korea have beaten Malaysia eight straight times including the Friday’s match.
Coached by Nelo Vingada, Malaysia picked Fadhli Shas as captain as Safiq Rahim has been suspended after picking up a red card against Hong Kong last month.
The Jorn Andersen’s side struck the first blood in the 11 th minute through a penalty kick by Pak Kwang Ryong.
Kim Yu Song then extended the lead for his side 31 minutes later before Kim Yong il netted the third goal for his team in the 48 minute to surge ahead at 3-0.
After allowing the opponents to widen the gap to 4-0 by Jong il Gwan in the 59th minute, Malaysia finally stopped the bleeding in the 66th minute by a shot from Muhammad Safawi Rasid.
The win kept Andersen’s hope of being in contention in the group alive after two ties and one defeat from three previous games. His team will enter the return leg on Monday as the favourites and another win shall put North Korea back on track to qualify for the Finals.
Malaysia with three defeats and one draw remain at the bottom of the group as their chance to clinch a spot in the next round looks almost impossible.
The two sides will resume their rivalry on Monday at this same venue which is supposed to be the home games for Malaysia.