Spot on for Korea DPR
© AFP

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ finalists Korea DPR qualified for next year's Asian Cup after edging out Turkmenistan to win the Challenge Cup on penalties in Colombo.

Goalkeeper Ju Kwang-min saved Arslanmyrat Amanov's sudden death penalty to seal a 5-4 win for ten-man Korea DPR after a 1-1 draw after extra-time at Sugathadasa Stadium.

Ryang Myong-il's first-half dismissal halted Korea DPR's strong start, with Turkmenistan taking instant advantage as Berdy Shamuradov's strong run and shot broke the deadlock after 32 minutes.

But despite their numerical disadvantage, Korea DPR continued to dominate and deservedly equalised as Ryang Yong-gi headed home with 14 minutes remaining.

In the shoot-out, Mamedaly Karadanov hit the crossbar for Turkmenistan to hand Korea DPR's Ri Chol-myong the chance to claim victory, but the midfielder blazed wide.

Begli Nurmuradov kept Turkmenistan in the contest at 4-4, but in the first round of sudden death Ri Kwang-hyok confidently converted before Ju beat away Amanov's rising effort.

Coach Jo Tong-sop, who is also part of the full national team set-up, insists "five or six" of his squad will be part of Korea DPR's side in South Africa later this year, while Ryang Yong-gi boosted his chances by topping the goalscoring charts with four goals in five games and also claiming the most valuable player award.

Earlier, Numondzhon Khakimov's spectacular first-half strike helped former champions Tajikistan beat Myanmar 1-0 to claim third place and automatically qualify for the 2012 Challenge Cup alongside Korea DPR and Turkmenistan.