ABU DHABI (AFP) - North Korea scored twice against the run of play to inflict a 2-1 defeat on hosts United Arab Emirates in an Asia 2010 World Cup qualifying match.
At the Bin Zayed Stadium on Saturday, North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun stuck to his time-tested strategy of packing the defence as his team scored their first ever win over the UAE in seven meetings.
Basheer Saeed deflected a harmless North Korean cross into his own goal in the 72nd minute and as UAE went all out on attack, substitute An Chol-Hyok took full advantage of the gaping hole in their defence in the 80th minute and rammed home a right-footer from just outside the box past goalkeeper Obaid Al Tawila.
Saeed made up for his unfortunate mistake in the 85th minute, when his long-range kick found its way into the North Korean goal, but it was too late for Bruno Metsu's men by then.
The hosts dominated throughout the first half, but all their moves came to nothing against the Red wall inside the North Korean penalty area.
UAE created several half chances in the first half and completely dominated the proceedings. In fact, the visitors did not have even one meaningful attempt at the UAE goal in the first 50 minutes.
UAE's star striker Ismail Matter attempted a good long-range attempt in the third minute and captain Abdulraheem Juma had a chance to put his team ahead in the 10th minute, but hit his shot just wide.
The best chance for the hosts to go ahead came in the 21st minute when Mohamed Al Shehhi made a brilliant cross from the right, but the unmarked Subait Khater agonisingly failed to connect from the middle of a vacant goalpost.
North Korea made their first couple of moves early in the second half, and their opening goal was more a case of luck.
Choe Kum-chol did well to latch on to the ball and make his way to the UAE goal from the right, but his intended cross to An was going way wide before grazing Saeed's shoulder and deflecting into the goal.
Crowd trouble held up play for more than six minutes as disappointed fans threw water bottles on to the pitch after North Korea's second goal.
The UAE's next Group 2 match is against Saudi Arabia at the same venue on Wednesday, while North Korea will be hosting neighbours South Korea at the neutral venue of Shanghai.
|Obaid Al Taweela|
|Haider Alo Ali|
|Saleh Abdulla Obaid|
|Ismaeel Al Hamadi|
|Mohamed Al Shehhi|
|Coach: B. Metsu|
for Subait Khater 54'
for Mohamed Al Shehhi 63'
for Helal Saeed 67'
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