Saudis thrash battling DPR Korea

Saudi Arabia came from a goal down to secure a 4-1 victory over a 10 man North Korea in their Asian Cup match up in Melbourne.

Both teams got off to a flying start with hard tackling the order of the day as they battled to stay in the Asian Cup.

The first goal, DPR Korea's first in 23 years in this tournament, came when Waleed saved a shot only to send it out to Yong-Gi Ryang, who slotted it into the back of the net with ease.

Saudi Arabia pushed for an answer in the minutes that followed, but struggled to get the ball from DPR Korea who were dominating possession.

At about the half hour mark, Saudi Arabia started to challenge the Korean dominance and find more chances. Finally their pressure paid off when Nawaf countered a DPR Korea run and passed to Hazazi to nutmeg the keeper for the equaliser.

The equaliser turned the game around, as Saudi Arabia took control of the match. In the 42nd minute they forced an excellent save from Myong-Gok, as Nawaf's half-volley looked sure to go into the back of the net before the DPR Korea keeper's hand deflected it just in time.

The teams went into the break level, but a brilliantly poached goal from Mohammad Al Sahlawi in the 52nd minute saw Saudi Arabia take the lead.

Just two minutes later Al Sahlawi then took advantage of a shambolic moment from the DPR Korea defence, scoring the second goal of his brace in the 54th minute thanks to a bungled clearance.

The Green Falcons looked a different team in the second half, piling misery on their opponents; their plight was worsened when Yon-Jick Lee was sent off in the 75th minute.  Al Abid took the resulting penalty but it was well saved by goalkeeper Myong Guk Ri. Unfortunately for DPR Korea, Nawaf recovered quickly and slotted in a goal from the deflected save.

DPR continued to bravely fight to stay in the tournament, but some big errors prevented them converting their early dominance into a win.