Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history

North Korea and Lebanon are both yet to win a point in this season's Asian Cup, but qualification for the last 16 is still up for grabs.

Published : Jan 17, 2019 01:39 IST

Pak Kwang-Ryong in action for North Korea
Pak Kwang-Ryong in action for North Korea

Pak Kwang-Ryong in action for North Korea

Lebanon head coach Miodrag Radulovic called on his side to make history as it faces North Korea in a Group E decider at the Asian Cup on Thursday.

Neither side has scored a goal or won a point at the tournament so far, but with 16 teams going through to the knockout stages their qualification chances remain alive.

Lebanon - which was knocked out in the group stage in 2000, its only previous Asian Cup appearance - is prepared to get the result it needs to stay in the tournament, according to coach Radulovic.

"We are in a tough group," he told reporters. "Honestly, it was hard taking points away from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our focus is now against North Korea.

READ: AFC Asian Cup: Iraq holds Iran in goalless draw

"This will represent a big chance for Lebanese football to create history. I believe in my players and they will be focused to win the game, qualify for the next round and make the fans proud.

"It's a totally different game and you can’t compare our next match with the ones we had earlier. My players need to be ready to win the game and the pressure will be on me. I have prepared them and they will score goals."

North Korea head coach Kim Yong-jun expects a tough battle against Lebanon but has faith his players can show their quality at Sharjah Stadium, having shipped 10 goals in defeats to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"This is the first time we are playing with a 24-team format," he said. "It's good for the sport, especially in the Asian Cup, as it gives the opportunity for other teams to qualify and this promotes football development in their countries as well.

"My players are ready to get the result. They are in high spirits and we are prepared to go all out to win the match. There is no turning back history, we must now focus on Lebanon and get the three points."


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