South Korea Begins Long Wait For Match DVDs After First Trip To North Korea In 29 Years
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It was historic, but amidst renewed tensions and the recent launching of some unidentified projectiles toward the Sea of Japan (as well as a forthcoming "Hog Apocalypse"), it wasn’t exactly euphoric. For the first time since a 1990 friendly, the men’s teams of North and South Korea faced off in Pyongyang.
The match was hugely important in terms of 2022 World Cup qualifying, but perhaps with a view toward what might befall the world’s 113th-ranked side against 37th-ranked South Korea, the 50,000-capacity Kim Il-sung Stadium was left empty, apart from select officials including FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
The match ended 0-0, keeping South Korea at the top of Group H and North Korea in second by virtue of goal difference. The top two teams from the five-team group advance to the third round of AFC qualifying.
As well as barring its own fans from entry, North Korea refused to allow the game to air on live TV and also barred the entry of South Korean media. Nothing is known about how the game played out apart from these updates provided by the Korea Football Association: No one scored, four yellows were handed out and four substitutions took place.
Maybe it was like the 90 minutes of regular time between Italy and Germany at the 2006 World Cup; maybe it was like Saturday's 0-0 draw between Georgia and Ireland.
FT: PRK 0 - 0 KORThe historic match in Pyongyang ends in a stalemate with both nations earn a point apiece in the #AsianQualifiers Group H clash! pic.twitter.com/rty73Xg377
— AFC (@theafcdotcom) October 15, 2019
If South Korea manager Paulo Bento wants to analyze the match, he’ll have to wait a minute. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, North Korean authorities promised to hand over a “DVD containing video footage” of the match before the team leaves Pyongyang Wednesday.
The footage will later be shared with the South Korean public. “We would need time for technical checks, but despite some delays, our people will be able to watch the game,” said a ministry official.