Korea Republic crowned East Asian champions

The Korean Republic has been crowned as the East Asian Champions despite playing out a tame 0-0 draw with northern neighbours DPR Korea, after China failed to beat Japan in the competition's final match.

In the day's first match, Uli Stielike's side had to settle for a point after the Asian Cup runners-up failed to find the back of the net despite dominating for the most part.

The result meant that South Korea finished the Round Robin competition on five points, one ahead of North Korea, while China were on three and Japan on one going into the competition's final match.

That meant that China could be crowned as winners for the first time since 2010, should they triumph over Samurai Blue at the Wuhan Sports Center Stadium.

Alain Perrin's Chinese side took the lead in the 11th minute, when Shanghai SIPG midfielder Wu Lei found the back of the net to send the home crowd into raptures, but in the closing stages of the first half Yuki Muto scored a deserved equaliser for Japan.

Despite China's best efforts after the half-time interval, they were unable to carve out another clear goal-scoring opportunity and the score remained unchanged at 1-1 until the referee blew the final whistle.

The draw between China and Japan ensured that the Taeguk Warriors won their third regional title after winning the four-team tournament in 2003 and 2008.

While World Cup regulars would be somewhat disappointed by finishing at the foot of the table the experience would have given manager Vahid Halilhodzic plenty of opportunities to assess his squad in the absence of their European-based players, ahead of the resumption of the World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers on September 3.

Comments