AFC President’s Cup: Turkmenistan holds North Korea to draw
BACOLOD CITY— Turkmenistan’s HTTU Asgabat held Rimyongsu of North Korea to a second straight stalemate, this time a 1-1 draw to move closer to a spot in the final round of the AFC President’s Cup Thursday night at Panaad Stadium.
Ri Hyok-chol struck moments after Asgabat took the lead in the 80th minute to save Rimyongsu in a match where the Koreans enjoyed long periods of possession and created more chances.
Muhadov Suleyman put the Turkmen on top with a close-range strike after Ju Kwang-min spilled the ball inside the six-yard box. But the celebration was short-lived as Ri fired a volley from 10 yards to equalize.
The point from the draw kept HTTU on top with four points from two matches followed by Rimyongsu with two points.
Tournament favorite Rimyongsu was also held to a 2-2 draw by Ceres-La Salle last Tuesday.
“I can’t say I’m happy with the result because we had the lead but the conditions made it difficult for us,” said HTTU coach Meredov Rowshen.
Rain had rendered the pitch soft and soggy.
A win by Ceres-La Salle against Tatung of Chinese-Taipei Thursday night could push the hosts to the top going into the final day on Saturday.
But the draw also means that the Ceres-HTTU could be a virtual knockout match on Saturday.
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