North looking for Southern bonus

After scoreless results in the two previous meetings, North Korea and their southern neighbours would be keen to break the deadlock in a Group Two qualifying match in Shanghai.

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After scoreless results in the two previous meetings, North Korea and their southern neighbours would be keen to break the deadlock in a Group Two qualifying match in Shanghai. North Korea kicked off their campaign with fine victory over the UAE and would be looking for another good result to establish themselves as one of the front-runners in the group. They have had their share of success in adopting a defensive strategy but it will be the South Koreans who start favourites as they embark on seventh successive appearance in the World Cup finals.

South Korea didn't have a fixture on the opening night of the qualifier but warmed up with a 1-0 result with Jordan. They clash with their northern neighbours for the third time in this competition, finishing ahead of North Korea in round three on a better goal aggregate after they finished on 12 points each. The North Korean coach Kim Jong Hun admitted their win over the UAE was only a bonus but a lot of hard work was lying ahead. He said: "We have got to a good start but we have a long road ahead of us. Needless to say every game is going to be tough.

"I'll be happy to win one point from the away games and win full points at home, now we have a bonus of three from the UAE." The UAE were the first team to score against them in seven matches and the Korean coach said it had an element of good fortune as it took a slight deflection off a defender. "We had to play under humid conditions and under the circumstance we did well," he said. apassela@thenational.ae