Sunday, March 18, 2018 03:59:04 AM
The hope of a first-ever berth of Bangladesh's treble-winner Sheikh Russel KC in the AFC President's Cup was shattered as they were beaten 4-0 by North Korean champions Rimyongsu Club in the last Group B match at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday.
With this win, Rimyongsu Club top Group B list securing full six points. Sheikh Russel KC became runners-up with three points ahead of pointless Mongolian Erchim FC which finished bottom of the three-team group.
In the final on Friday, Rimyongsu Club will meet Group A champions FC HTTU of Turkmenistan which reached the final beating Sri Lankan Air Force 2-1 in the last group A match on Wednesday.
Earlier, Sheikh Russel KC brightened their chance to play in the final of the AFC President's Cup as the first Bangladesh Club team beating Erchim FC of Mongolia by 1-0 goal scored by Nigerian forward Kingsley Chigozie in their Group B opener.
In the day's match, Ri Jin Hyok, captain Pak Song Chol, Ro Hak Su and Kim Kyong scored one goal each for the North Korean side which dominated the first half 2-0.
Ri Jin-hyok opened the scoring after 30 minutes for the North Korean Club before captain Pak Song-chol netted a sublime free-kick in the 4th minute of added time of the first half.
Ro Hak-su and Kim Kyong-il then added two more goals in the 51st and 60th minutes respectively to give Rimyongsu a second convincing victory of the tournament after they had crushed FC Erchim of Mongolia 5-0 on Monday.
"We had a lot of confidence after our first match and this gave us a good base for today's game with the players putting on a similarly pleasing performance," said Rimyongsu coach Jo Tong-sop, according to AFC website.
"Pak is very skilful on free-kicks, he practices a lot, and he's always our main set-piece taker. We know if there is any dead-ball within striking distance then he will always be a threat.
"We will now study our possible opponents for the final and work on any potential weaknesses. Both teams have to ensure they are prepared to our maximum for the championship game," the coach added.
Despite coming into the winner-takes-all tie just 48 hours since they kicked off their opening match, Rimyongsu were the more adventurous side from the start, with Sheikh Russel looking to sit deep and hit target-man Kingsley Chigozie with long balls from the back.
Pak, who had scored a stunning free-kick against Erchim, gave early warning of his threat from set-pieces on 14 minutes with an in-swinging effort from near the left-hand corner flag that forced an athletic save from Sheikh Russel goalkeeper Mamun Khan, clawing the ball away from under his crossbar.
And Khan was called into action just five minutes later, as he pulled off a double save to deny first Ri Sang-chol and then the onrushing Ri Hyok following up on the loose ball.
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