Hong Yong-Jo grabbed the winner as DPR Korea beat Mali 1-0 in the opening match of the International Friendship tournament in Qatar.
The FC Rostov striker netted ten minutes into the second half to hand the Asian side a winning start to the event which also features Qatar and Iran. Hong almost scored after four minutes but shot wide when faced with just the Mali goalkeeper.
Pak Song-Chol was next to come close with a free-kick which hit the left upright. 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers DPR Korea finally made the breakthrough after 55 minutes when Hong burst into the area from the left and fired past Soumbeyla Diakite.
Mali laid siege to the Korean goal in the closing stages but could not find an equaliser. Host nation Qatar will face Iran in their respective opening matches.