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Doha: So Hyun-uk’s second-half strike was enough to give DPR Korea a winning start to their 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifying campaign as the Chollima edged Yemen 1-0 in their Group H opener on Thursday.

The April 25 attacker scored the only goal of the game with 71 minutes at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium played as the North Koreans went joint-top of the standings with the Philippines, who defeated Bahrain 2-1 in the earlier Group H fixture. 

The teams in Round 2 will compete according to a double round robin format, with the qualification matches held between June 11, 2015 to March 29, 2016.

The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup finals.