Bangkok: Coach Yon Kwang-mu hailed as “united” spirit as the decisive factor as DPR Korea claimed a second AFC U-16 Championship title after recording a 2-1 comeback victory over Korea Republic in Saturday’s final.
DPR Korea had fallen behind to Choi Jae-young’s 34th minute header following a frantic start to the final at Rajamangala Stadium.
But after Han Kwang-song netted his fourth goal in six games five minutes after half-time, striker partner Choe Song-hyok struck with 23 minutes remaining as DPR Korea added to their 2010 triumph.
“We have been preparing for this championship for a long time with the qualifiers last year, but we have now succeeded,” said former DPR Korea international striker Yon after his first final appearance as a head coach.
“We have united as one as we have tried to show our team spirit in all our matches.”
DPR Korea finished runners-up in Group C behind Uzbekistan having lost to the defending champions either side of wins over Kuwait and Nepal.
But after edging out Iran following a penalty shootout in their quarter-final following a goalless draw to secure qualification for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, DPR Korea also needed penalties to beat Australia in the semi-final following 1-1 draw.
“For our young players, this championship is their debut in international matches and our young players played well in the group stage and learned a lot in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and also the final.
“Their skill and technique and their determination has developed, and in the future through this experience at this championship, we will consolidate what they have learned.
“We will play at the World Cup and represent Asia. We will prepare well and show Asia’s development at the World Cup.”