DPRK's Ri Yong Jik (R) challenges China's Chang Feiya during their men's soccer qualifier match for the 17th Asian Games at Incheon Football Stadium in Incheon, Sept 15, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
INCHEON - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Monday handed a 3-0 defeat to an ambitious Chinese side who had expected a top-four finish at the Asian Games men's soccer tournament.
Sim Hyon-jin stunned the Chinese with a 10th minute goal, which was followed by two more goals by So Kyong-jin and Ri Hyok-chol at the 47th and 57th minute respectively.
The Chinese team, two years younger than their rivals on average, lacked match experiences, according to head coach Fu Bo.
In addition, six key players from Shandong Luneng were absent from Monday's match because the Chinese Super League club refused to let them go.
However, the head coach attributed the loss to their own mistakes, saying it was a good chance to learn from a strong competitor such as DPR Korea.
"It was us to blame," said Fu. "The 10th minute goal was the main reason for today's failure. The three goals all happened after we made mistakes."
China was drawn in Group F along with DPR Korea and Pakistan at the Asian Games. Top two teams from each of the eight groups advance to the knock-out stage.
China's best performance at the Asian Games men's soccer tournament was in 1994 in Hiroshima, Japan, when they finished runners-up to Uzbekistan.