Azkals hold North Korea to scoreless draw in Pyongyang

Ryan Songalia
Azkals hold North Korea to scoreless draw in Pyongyang
The Philippines denies points to North Korea for the first time in their previous 3 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals bounced back from their dreadful loss to Uzbekistan to hold North Korea to a scoreless draw at Kim Il Sung Stadium in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) capital of Pyongyang on Thursday, October 8.

The Azkals, who were beaten 1-5 by Uzbekistan in Bulacan a month ago, made a major statement in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, denying Group H leaders North Korea a win for the first time in 4 matches. North Korea had won their only previous match, 2-0, on March 9, 2012 at the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal.

There were no working live streams available to watch the game in the Philippines, and football fans had to rely on Twitter updates from the AFC Asian Cup Twitter account and the delayed reports from the few international reporters who were at the game. One Filipino reporter at the game – Cedelf Tupas of Inquirer – reports that there were 50,000 fans in the stadium during the game.

The referees granted 8 minutes of stoppage time after 90 minutes had been completed, although Tupas claims the stalls in the game likely didn’t justify that length of extra play.

North Korea now has 10 points through 4 games while the Azkals have 7 – one ahead of Uzbekistan – for second place.

(READ: Azkals face uphill task in brutal World Cup qualifying road trip)

The Azkals will next face Bahrain in their city of Riffa on October 13. The Philippines holds a 2-1 victory over Bahrain in their last match in June. –

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