2012 AFC Challenge Cup: North Korea & Tajikistan start with wins

The 2012 AFC Challenge Cup also started for the teams in Group B as defending champions North Korea faced the Philippines at the Halchowk Stadium, while in a match-up of former champions India faced Tajikistan at the Dashrath Stadium.

Group B

North Korea 2-0 (0-0) Philippines
Defending champions North Korea made a winning start into the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win against the Philippines at the Halchowk Stadium. North Korea were all over the Philippines in the first season, but Fulham FC number two goalkeeper Neil Etheridge denied the Koreans in the first session on numerous occasions. The North Koreans finally broke the deadlook through Nam-Chol Pak's 58th minute header before Etheridge failed to deal with a high cross from the right, allowing substitute Kuk-Chol Jang to double the defending champions' lead 11 minutes later.

India 0-2 (0-0) Tajikistan
India suffered an opening match 0-2 loss against Tajikistan in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup at the Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu. After an opening half in which both sides had their chances, but often evened each other out; things changed after the break. On the hour mark the Tajiks went ahead through Akhtam Khamrakulov as India could not clear inside the box. Only six minutes later striker Nuriddin Davranov made it 2-0 for Tajikistan with a nice placed shot from outside the box beating the outstretched hands of Karanjit Singh following a corner. Thereafter India could not come back into the match as the Tajiks took revenge for the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup final loss.

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