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India lose 0-4 to DPR Korea in AFC Cup

 KATHMANDU, March 13 (PTI): The Indian football team rounded off a miserable campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup, blanked 0-4 by strong contenders DPR Korea in their last league encounter at the Dashrath Stadium here today.

 This was Indiaís third defeat in a row in a competition in which the team failed to score a single goal while conceding eight.

DPRís goals came through Jon Kwang Ik (fourth minute), Ri Kwang Hyok (34th minute), Pak Nam Chol (58th minute) and Ri Chol Myong (70th minute).

The Koreans, who have won all their three matches, topped Group B and moved into the semifinals with nine points.

Even prior to the kick-off, DPR stayed overwhelming favourites.

Apart from their superior FIFA ranking, they boasted of seven World Cuppers who had represented their country in the 2010 edition.

DPR never allowed the Indians to settle down as they struggled to match the east-Asian nationís pace.

Defensive lapses only added to Indiaís misery and the only scoring chance for the team came in the 39th minute. But skipper Sunil Chhetriís left-footer, after being fed by Francis Fernandes, missed the target.

DPR surged ahead early when Jon Kwang Ik capitalised on a defensive lapse to slot home and Ri Kwang Hyok doubled the lead in the 34th minute.

It was a familiar script even after the change-over, . Coach Savio Medeira did introduce fresh legs but even that didnít help. Pak Nam Chol and Ri Chol Myong completed the rout in the 58th and 70th minute respectively.

In another match Philippines defeated Tajikistan (2-1) and qualified for the semifinals as the second team from the Group B.

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