April 13, 2024
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Facts and figures of 2023-2024 DPRK Premier League in first round

Date: 02/04/2024 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

The first-round matches of the 2023-2024 DPRK Premier League, which kicked off in December last year, came to an end.

The matches held between strong domestic teams produced impressive scenes.

Wrongly predicted rankings

Many of the first-round matches denied the experts and fans’ predicted rankings.

Of the 66 matches, 28.79 percent, including those between the Ministry of Light Industry and Ryomyong teams and between the Jebi and Rimyongsu teams, ended in a draw. And relatively weak teams beat the strong ones, contributing to changing the rankings.

Total scores

Eighty-nine players scored 180 goals in total during the 66 matches.

This means that 2.73 goals were scored in each match on average.

The top scorer this time was Pak Kwang Chon, forward of the Ryomyong team.

Pak, who was previously playing as a back, now plays as a forward, unfolding impressive scoring scenes.

He scored nine of the team’s 18 goals during the matches.

Eye-catching teams

The Sobaeksu team drew unflagging attention.

The team tied with all its opponents 1-1 in the first three matches after the first-round matches began in December last year, arousing concern from experts and fans. This February it disappointed them by tying with the Ryomyong 0-0 in the first match and lost to the Amnokgang 0-1 in the second match. But later it gradually regained its rhythm of game play and was placed second in the rankings with six wins, four draws and one defeat in 11 matches.

The Jebi team from the second-division took the ninth place, drawing the attention of the spectators.

Relatively inept teams generally attempted to score by switching from defence to sudden counterattacks, but the Jebi created favourable scoring chances while competing in a fast playing mode.

Change of players turns tide of match

The coach of the Sonbong team replaced a forward with another good at shooting in the match with the Pyongyang, the coach of the Hwaeppul a forward with another good at header in the match with the Pyongyang and the coach of the Pyongyang a forward with another good at scoring by side breaks in the match with the Rimyongsu, unfolding exciting scoring scenes and reversing the tides of the matches.

Backs score

Eye-catching was also backs’ scoring during the first-stage matches.

Of the 180 goals recorded during the competition, 28 goals or 15.6 percent were scored by backs.

They showed impressive scoring scenes with free kicks or headers in melees.

Point gap reduced

The difference in points between the first placer and the last one was reduced as compared to last year.

Such difference between teams during the first-round matches of the 2022-2023 DPRK Premier League was 22 points.

But this time it was 16 points.

The reduced point gap suggests that future matches will become fiercer.

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