DPR Korea beat Turkmenistan 2-1 to successfully defend their title in the Challenge Cup 2012.
Korea: DPR Korea beat Turkmenistan 2-1 to successfully defend their title in the Challenge Cup 2012 final played at the Dashrath Rangasala in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Monday evening.
Berdy Shamuradov (2') had provided a shock lead to Turkmenistan which was cancelled by Il-Gwan Jong in the 36th minute.
It was Song-Hyok Jang's goal from the spot in the 87th minute that proved the winner for DPR Korea but not before Shamuradov missed from the spot for the Green Men just three minutes earlier.
Arslanmyrat Ammanov was left out of the starting line-up for Turkmenistan, while DPR Korea had Kwang-Ryong Pak in their side after the player got a release from club duties.
Yazguly Hojageldiyev couldn't have asked for a better start when Berdy Shamuradov burst into the DPR Korea defense to score the opener in the second minute as Myong-Guk Ri conceded his first goal in the entire tournament.
Kwang-Ryong Pak almost scored the leveler in the 10th minute, but Akmyrat Jumanazarov had the FC Basel striker's shot well-blocked with a timely sliding tackle.
Minutes later, Bagtyyar Hojaahmedow was denied twice in front of goal, first by Nam-Chol II Pak who headed out a free-kick, followed by the Turkmen striker's off-target shot off the rebound.
The Koreans were not too far behind with their possession play, occasionaly launching an attack, and eventually found the equaliser when Il-Gwan Jong headed in Nam-Chol I Pak's cross from the left in the 36th minute.
The Turk keeper may have not stood a chance to stop the bullet header, but soon Rahmanberdi Alyhanov was almost made to pay for his positioning and was lucky to see Nam-Chol I Pak's chip go above the crossbar as the two teams went into the break at 1-1.
At the start of the second half, Il-Gwan's pile-driver was not too far away from the right post of the Turk keeper Alyhanov after the Korean striker was cleverly set-up by Kuk-Chol Jang back-flick.
Following an attacking change each by both the coaches, newcomer Arslanmyrat Ammanov was almost immediately causing problems for the DPR Korea defense who were also helped by the post that kept out the Turk striker's shot in the 67th minute.
Two minutes earlier, some poor play at the back by the defending champions allowed Umijan Astanow to move into space and take a shot. However, DPR keeper Myong-Guk Ri sent it out for a corner.
Myong-Guk went on to save another attempt from the boots of Amanow, while Turkmenistan kept their defense vitally strong blocking Song-Hyok Jang's strike from distance.
Substitute Amanow was back in action in the 82nd minute, earning his side a penalty after the Turk player was brought down by DPR Korea's Song-Hyok.
However, in the worst of nighmares for Turkmenistan, Berdy Shamuradov sent his effort skywards to miss a golden opportunity to regain the lead for his side.
The late penalty drama continued as DPR Korea's Pak Kwang-Ryong was brought down in the box by Turkmenistan's David Sakisov in the 86th minute.
Song-Hyok Jang, who was guilty of conceding the penalty for his side, then turned into a hero as the Chollimas substitute converted from the spot.
With this win, DPR Korea become the second team after hosts Australia to confirm their place at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup while Turkmenistan yet again fell prey to the 2010 finalists.