North Korea are facing a difficult task as regards the qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar from the Asian section. North Korea are targeting just their third appearance at the FIFA World Cup tournament after their second appearance at the 2010 edition in South Africa.
North Korea made their World Cup debut at the 1966 FIFA World Cup tournament in England and they stunned a lot of football fans by reaching the quarterfinals before they were beaten 5-3 by an Eusebio-led Portugal team. Eusebio scored four goals during that game. In their previous game before meeting Portugal, North Korea stunned Italy 1-0 to secure their place in the quarterfinals when a draw would have been enough to see the Italians progress ahead of North Korea in Group 4.
North Korea were in Group G at their second FIFA World Cup appearance in South Africa,but they failed to live up to the exploits of the previous outing at England’ 66. North Korea lost all their three group games including a 7-0 thumping at the hands of Portugal.
Ex-Chelsea player Tiago Mendes scored twice during the game, which saw six different scorers including current team skipper Cristiano Ronaldo.Before the Portugal game, they had pushed Brazil very close as they only lost 2-1 to them. Their third and final group game ended in a 3-0 defeat to Ivory Coast who were also making their second appearance at the tournament after their debut in 2006. North Korea were drawn bye into the second round of Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the Asian category and are in Group H.
The North Koreans started their Group H with two straight wins against Lebanon (home) and Sri Lanka (away) before the goalless draw with top seed and rivals South Korea at home. North Korea then lost 3-1 at surprise group leaders Turkmenistan on matchday four before a disapponting goalless draw at home to Lebanon.
A win over Lebanon in their last game could have taken North Korea to the top of the table. They are in fourth place at the moment with eight points from five games, same as Lebanon and South Korea in third and second respectively. Turkmenistan are the group leaders with five points. All the group members have played five games each except South Korea. The top team will qualify for the final round of World Cup qualifiers, while the runners-up have the opportunity to qualify as one of the best runners-up teams.