How many players actually live in North Korea? It’s been my impression that most are in Japan.
First the Brazil team this year kinda sucks, though ti was still very surprising.
Second off, Brazil is a team that likes to play through the center, and with a flat 5 defense like the one NK was playing that’s a nearly impossible thing to do. Both their goals came from the outside. They tried the same against Portugal but it didn’t work nearly as well from a team that plays the ball in from the wings. They also did completely collapse in the last quarter of the game, but I wouldn’t say it was “thrown” by any means.
BBC said not only was it broadcast live in North Korea, but it was the first-ever live broadcast of a match played on foreign soil.
The wife said the Thai news the other night reported several team members had disappeared. My first thought was kidnapped ot killed by NK agents, but she said speculation was they defected. However, I’ve not seen anything about this in the Western press, although I’ve been too busy to look closely. Possibly just more rumor-mongering among the Thai media.
FWIW, I have read that thing around here as well (in the Netherlands), something about 4 team members missing. However, it appears to be more a rumour than anything else (especially given that the NK team practically doesn’t interact with the press, and that this is exactly the kind of news that they would NOT want to talk about).
DPRK made the World Cup by parking a bus in from of their goal in every preliminary match.
So put them in a situation where they had to push forward against a class team that plays with width and an ugly result was on the cards.
Getting zapped 7-0 and going home after the first round isn’t necessary a problem. You could argue that they have outperformed. But South Korea making the second round does not make for good propaganda.
Despite the Portugal rout, much of the talk I’m hearing around the office about the NK team is that they’re making a decent showing against expectations and are certainly showing considerably more class than some of the higher ranking teams France, I’m looking at you here. I’m hoping they get enough good publicity to earn them propaganda points at home.
Beats starving to death, one would assume. The athletes also surely realize that life in NK is pretty good if you are one of the elites, not so good if you aren’t. And if you have no political connections, athletic talent is one of the few ways of getting a taste of the good life.