Tag Archives: coppa d asia

Jo bemoans ‘unlucky’ DPR Korea defeat

Canberra: DPR Korea coach Jo Tong-sop felt his side were “unlucky” not to leave with a point from Australia’s capital after their narrow 2-1 defeat to Group B winners China, following their second half fight back at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

Stunned by a goal within the match’s first minute from China midfielder Sun Ke, Jo saw the same player score again before half-time to increase the deficit and his side overmatched in the first period of their final AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 fixture.

In the second half, though, DPR Korea came out strongly and pulled a goal back after Jong Il-gwan’s effort ricocheted in off China forward Gao Lin and the Chollima almost found a leveler in spectacular fashion on the 81st minute as So Hyon-uk hit the frame of the goal late on with a stunning volley.

“At half-time I told the players we should concentrate more on defending and once we have the ball we have to focus on making better passes and making it more tough for China.

That helped to motivate the players more and their mental concentration increased,” said Jo.

“I think in the second half the play was a lot better from the team, I planned from the beginning that we would use the last 10 to 15 minutes for substitutes because our players would not be strong enough.

“I planned to use the last 15 minutes to attack with these fresh legs and I think this worked pretty well but we were unlucky.”

With their third consecutive defeat in the competition, DPR Korea exit the tournament without a point from the continental championship for the first time in their history, having previously appeared in the 1980, 1992 and 2011 editions.

Despite the setback, Jo does see room for optimism in the future for the national team, particularly as the development teams continue to bear fruit in continental competitions with

DPR Korea last year winning the AFC U-16 Championship and reaching the final of both the AFC U-19 Championship and the Asian Games.

“Although our matches were not satisfactory at this tournament, I think this is a very valuable experience for the whole team,” said Jo.

“While those who are waiting at home are not very happy about the results they will encourage our team to make better games going forward.

“This tournament will be a good experience and motivate our team for further success in future tournaments like FIFA World Cup Qualifying and the next AFC Asian Cup.”

DPR Korea eager to earn elusive win

Canberra: Coach Jo Tong-sop vowed to change both personnel and strategies in search of already-eliminated DPR Korea’s first AFC Asian Cup win in 35 years when they take on Group B winners China at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

DPR Korea exited the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 after a 4-1 defeat by three-time winners Saudi Arabia in Melbourne on Wednesday following an opening 1-0 loss to 2011 fourth-placed side Uzbekistan.

Although both teams’ places in Group B have already been decided – China as group winners and DPR Korea finishing in fourth regardless of the result in Australia’s capital – Jo will look to finish his campaign with three points, thereby improving upon the Chollima’s performance in the 2011 edition when they were eliminated from the group stages after picking up a single point.


“For the next match there will be a slight change in formation and the selection list to get the best possible result in this tournament,” said Jo, who was also in charge of the national team during the AFC Asian Cup four years ago.

“The match against Uzbekistan I think we lost because we did not anticipate correctly their attack down the wings, our defence was not prepared for that.

“And against Saudi Arabia, the players were too excited once they conceded the second goal and did not defend properly. That is the main reason we were tactically defeated.

“I don’t want to blame the players; my leadership, my instructions, my plans and projects were not good enough. Training and playing tactics for the match was not perfect; I think that was the reason for the losses.”

Neighbours and Sunday’s opponents China are currently on an upward curve, though, having qualified for the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals for the first time since they hosted the tournament in 2004.

And Jo knows that his side will be in for a tough challenge should they wish to gain a first continental championship win since the 1980 tournament.

“I watched the two games of China and the Chinese team is good in terms of physical fitness and they are technically and tactically prepared well. The combination and leadership of the coach is very good, I think,” said Jo.

“I don’t feel any difference between this (match) and previous matches. As we did in the last matches we do our best to show our full skill, there is no difference.

“Like the other teams, we also wanted to prove our skills when we prepared for the tournament and it did not work out very well.

“After this tournament when we get back to our homes we will analyse the matches and what was lacking and what has to be covered, everything, and we will find out the way to improve it.”

Corea già eliminata

La vittoria della Cina (2-1 all’Uzbekistan) condanna la Corea alla matematica eliminazione dopo due gare.

Anche in caso di vittoria con i cinesi, infatti, la Corea non potrebbe raggiungere la seconda posizione, visto che Arabia Saudita ed Uzbekistan giocheranno contro nell’ultima gara e quindi almeno una delle due porterà a casa punti.

Jo eyes brighter future after defeat

Melbourne: Coach Jo Tong-sop has urged DPR Korea’s football development to be made a top priority after Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia ended the former semi-finalists hopes of a return to the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup.

Jo’s side conceded three times in the second half at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium after Ryang Yong-gi had handed 1980 semi-finalists DPR Korea a first AFC Asian Cup goal since 1992 in the 11th minute before Naif Hazazi equalised for Saudi Arabia in the first half.

And after Jo’s side also lost Saturday’s opener 1-0 to Uzbekistan in Sydney, DPR Korea again exited in the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup having picked up just one point from their three games in 2011 in Qatar after also failing to progress in 1992.

“It would be good to be part of the final matches, but our skills and level is not high enough,” said Jo.

“We are in a process of development and we need to make it better as quickly as possible to make better players for the future.”

DPR Korea had been rewarded for an aggressive start as Ryang turned home a rebound inside the opening quarter of an hour.

But after being caught cold by DPR Korea’s start, Saudi Arabia grew into the contest as the half progressed and Hazazi pulled the three-time winners level before the break.

And with Saudi Arabia maintaining their dominance after half-time, two quick-fire goals from Mohammed Al Sahlawi and a late follow up from Nawaf Al Abid following Ri Yong-jik;s dismissal after conceding a penalty, sealed the win for the Green Falcons.

“I think the start of the match was okay, but in terms of the defence it worked well until we conceded the second goal,” added Jo.

“For the second goal the players did not concentrate enough and that is the main reason, also they had some mental stress as the second goal came so easily.”

DPR Korea will round off their campaign against China in Canberra on Sunday.

“Today’s match was a decisive one for both teams and the result was not very happy for our team, but we will do our best to prepare for the next match,” said Jo.

“Although we know the final result in the competition for our team, we still have one match and we will do our best to win the match.”

CHE DELUSIONE: troppi errori, RPDC sommersa.

La RPDC è ormai ad un passo dall’eliminaziona dopo la brutta gara contro l’Arabia Saudita.
Jo Tong-Sop ripropone la stessa squadra dell’esordio con qualche piccola modifica tattica (la squadra è schierata con il 4-1-4-1).
Partono bene i coreani che sfiorano due volte il vantaggio (con Ri Yong-Jik e Sim Hyon-Jin) prima di trovare la rete con Ryang Yong-Gi abile a ribadire in porta una respinta del portiere saudita (11′).
I coreani controllano bene il campo ma sono troppo leggeri in fase di disimpegnano e sbagliano numerosi passaggi come quello che fa partire il contropiede arabo che porta al pareggio di Hazazi (37′).
In questo momento si spegne la luce: ci vuole un grande Ri Myong-Guk per non chiudere il primo tempo in svantaggio.
Nel secondo tempo i sauditi entrano in campo con la mentalità giusta mentre i coreani hanno ancora la testa negli spogliatoi. Altro errore in disimpegno ed arriva il secondo gol di Al Sahlawi (52′) mentre in seguito ad una topica clamorosa di Jang Song-Hyok arriva, due minuti dopo, il doppio vantaggio ancora con Al Sahlawi. La partita è ormai chiusa e regala ancora una rete ai sauditi dopo un’imprendibile sgroppata conclusa sulla traversa e poi sulle mani di Ri Yong-Jik: rigore ed espulsione. Batte Al Abid, Ri Myong-Guk para, ma sulla respinta il numero 20 saudita è velocissimo e ribadisce in rete.
Nel finale ci prova Pak Kwang-Ryong ma il portiere saudita è insuperabile.
Come detto moltissimi errori in disimpegno hanno permesso ai sauditi di rompere l’equilibrio tattico della gara. Una grossa delusione.


Asian Cup: North Korea expect better against Saudi Arabia

Coach Jo Tong-sop hopes Swiss-based pair can inspire recovery from opening defeat



Melbourne: North Korea are approaching Wednesday’s Asian Cup clash with Saudi Arabia confident that a gradual ideological thaw will help them overcome the odds and reach the quarter-finals.

After a 1-0 defeat by Uzbekistan in their opening game at the weekend, coach Jo Tong-sop backed his Swiss-based pair Pak Kwang-ryong and Cha Jong-hyok to spearhead a revival in Melbourne, describing them as crucial to his side’s hopes.

“Yes I rely a lot on them and expect them to step up in the next games,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “They were perhaps a little tired in the first game, but they should be better in the next two matches. If we stick to our plan and play to our strengths we’re capable of winning both games.”

Saudi Arabia, who won the last of their three Asian Cup titles in 1996, were upset 1-0 by China in their Group C opener.

Pak, who moved to Switzerland in 2011 and has played for Basel against Manchester United in the Champions League, did not shirk responsibility when asked about the pressure on North Korea in only their fourth Asian Cup appearance.

“We have to be better,” said the striker. “Since I’ve moved to Switzerland I’ve seen European football with my own eyes. It’s considered better than Asian football and I’ve learnt a lot, which I hope will be helpful to my North Korean teammates.

“When I first went to Europe everything was unfamiliar to me — the style of football, the language. But day by day I got used to life there. I made friends with the players and coaches and they helped me to overcome the language barrier.

“Playing against Manchester United in the Champions League was the best experience of my career, really fantastic.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has led a propaganda drive aimed at transforming the isolated country into a “sports superpower” and frequently bestows tactical advice to athletes and coaches on how best to bring glory to the state.

Pyongyang frequently lavishes cars and apartments on those who produce the goods, but can be equally harsh on those who fail.

According to media reports, the players and coaching staff who flopped at the 2010 World Cup were subjected to a six-hour public inquisition for “betraying” North Korea’s ideological struggle before being punished by being sent to work on a building site.

“The Great Leader was not able to visit the team before we left Pyongyang but he continues to give us valuable instruction,” said Jo. “We are grateful to feel his great love, which gives us power, and hope to repay him by winning the tournament.”

“Things didn’t go to plan in our first game,” added Jo, deputising for Yun Jong-su, who is serving a one-year ban for a bellicose tirade at officials after North Korea’s loss to South Korea in the Asian Games final last October. “But we can still win our next two games.”

Jo still optimistic after DPR Korea loss

Sydney: DPR Korea coach Jo Tong-sop believes his team can still advance to the last eight of the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 despite losing 1-0 in their opening game against Uzbekistan at Stadium Australia on Saturday.

Igor Sergeev scored the only goal of the game to give Uzbekistan the perfect start to their campaign while leaving DPR Korea chasing victory in their next game against Saudi Arabia to reignite their challenge for a place in the knockout rounds.

“For this match today we really wanted to win, but I thought that the Uzbekistan team was very good and they showed their ability,” said Jo, who led his nation at the finals of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

“For our team, I don’t think we showed our ability to the fullest today and if we had done a little better we could have won.

“We still have two more matches in the group stages, so we still have a chance (to reach the quarter-finals) and we don’t want to miss it.

“Many of the teams here are very strong, stronger than us. We will have to concentrate all our power on each and every match because that’s the only way for us to overcome each stage of the competition.”

DPR Korea were second-best for much of the game, but a last-ditch header from Pak Kwang-ryong almost earned Jo’s team a point only for Ignatiy Nesterov to deny the Liechtenstein-based striker with a reflex save that kept the scores level.

“In the last minute, I thought we were really unfortunate but the result is the result,” said Jo.

“We would like to convert our chances and go forward and attack a little bit more, because then we could create more chances than we did this time.”

Jo conceded that his defensive tactics were unable to yield the result he had hoped for when selecting his team.
“Before the match we had planned to concentrate on defending and then counter-attack to score and win the game,” he said. “But even though in the middle of the match, we gave away one goal, I still wanted to keep this strategy but it didn’t work very well.”

Uzbekistan-RPDC: decide Sergeev

Sconfitta nella prima gara della Coppa d’Asia per la Corea Popolare che incappa in un forte Uzbekistan. Decide una rete dell’attaccante del Pakhtakor Igor Sergeev al 62esimo minuto.
Jo Tong-Sop manda in campo i suoi con un 4-5-1: Ri Myong-Guk fra i pali, difesa composta da Cha Jong-Hyok a destra, Jon Kwang-Ik a sinistra e coppia centrale formata da Jang Song-Hyok e Jang Kuk-Chol. A centrocampo il gioco è in mano a Pak Song-Chol e Ri Jong-Jik, mentre sugli esterni ci sono Jong Il-Gwan e Ryang Yong-Gi. So Hyon-uk agisce da trequartista alle spalle di Pak Kwang-Ryong.
Gli uzbeki rispondo con una formazione speculare, con la stella Djeparov alle spalle dell’unica punta Sergeev.
Primo tempo soporifero, con leggera predominanza dei centroasiatici.
Il secondo tempo, giocato per gran parte sotto un diluvio, vede gli uzbeki più intraprendenti e i coreani impegnati più a distruggere il gioco avversario che a proporsi dalle parti di Nesterov.
Proprio sull’asse Djeparov-Sergeev nasce il gol uzbeko: Cross del capitano e incornata della punta. Ri Myong-Guk non può nulla.
La reazione coreana è sterile e gli avversari hanno più occasioni per segnare il gol del doppio vantaggio.
Tutto però si decide all’ultimo secondo: angolo battuto da Pak Song-Chol, incornata perfetta di Pak Kwang-Ryong che però non riesce ad angolare troppo e miracolo di Nesterov.
Con un atteggiamento più aggressivo i coreani si giocheranno il passaggio del turno nelle prossime due gare con Arabia Saudita e Cina.


North Korea defend picking suspended player for Asian Cup

Sydney: North Korea defended their selection of a suspended player and dodged questioning about their coach`s one-year ban on Friday as they prepared to open their Asian Cup campaign against Uzbekistan.

At a press conference, North Korean translator replied “What do you mean?” to a query about suspended coach Yun Jong-Su, before the question was given the red card by the moderator.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) banned Yun for a year over his angry rant following North Korea`s narrow loss to South Korea in the Asian Games final in October.

North Korea`s squad is missing South Korean-based star striker Jong Tae-Se but includes Ri Sang-Chol, who will miss all three Group B games through suspension.

Caretaker coach Jo Tong-Sop said Jong was injured, and added Ri would benefit from the trip despite not playing — and would be fresh if North Korea qualify for the knock-outs.

“He`s a good player. He cannot participate in the three matches in the group stage, I know that very well,” said Jo.

“This will be a very good chance for him to learn how fair play is important for a player. And if he has a good rest he can be used in the next stage of the Asian Cup.”

North Korea face a difficult first outing on Saturday against Uzbekistan, the 2011 semi-finalists who were one win away from a World Cup play-off last year.

The team from the isolated communist state have not played a friendly since November but Jo said he preferred to work on team unity rather than warm-up matches.

“Training matches would help the team to get ready for the tournament, it`s true but rather than playing a lot of friendly matches, I concentrated on uniting our team and preparing our team,” he said.

Jo added: “Any player who is mentally ready and able to concentrate all his spirit and all his ability to his play, he can score.”

North Korea coach Jo: Asian Cup title would please nation

A reserved Jo Tong Sop praised tournament organisers and fellow participants on Friday ahead of North Korea’s January 10 clash with Uzbekistan.

The 55-year-old, who is on his second stint as head coach after replacing the suspended Yun Jong Su, praised his team’s Saturday opponents.

“Uzbekistan are very strong; they’re good enough to make tomorrow a competitive match,” Jo said during his press conference at the Stadium Australia in Sydney. “We know a little about them and have made our plan; tomorrow we’ll see if it works.

“We’ve been preparing for this for a long time. If we have a good result from this tournament, it would please the whole nation.

The coach was rapidly put on the spot by media in attendance, with the first question an inquiry regarding Suwon Bluewings striker Jong Tae Se’s absence from the squad.

“His condition is not very good,” Jo answered, “he has a leg injury and we did not have enough time to call him up.”

He also dodged a question about a hypothetical North-South face-off in the quarterfinals, saying, “If we prepare well for each match then we can beat any team, whether that’s South Korea or anybody else.”

Jo was joined at the podium by goalkeeper Ri Myong Guk, the team’s goalkeeper and team captain.

“Each and every team has come here to win the competition and so have we,” said Ri, who appeared in the 2010 World Cup, “We know it won’t be easy but we’ll do our best.

“In one sentence I’ll say that it’s our wish to win, which would bring pleasure to General Kim Jong Un and the people in our country. That is what we want.”

After Saturday’s campaign-opener, North Korea will travel south to play Saudi Arabia in Melbourne before facing neighbours China in Canberra.