The tournament victory is good preparation for North Korea's tricky World Cup pool [AFP]
North Korea continued their preparations for the World Cup by winning the four-team invitational Qatar Friendly International Tournament, despite losing their final match 1-0 to Iran.

Iran's Mehrzad Madanchi scored the winner for his side at the Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, making his way past five Korean defenders and lobbing a shot home in the 42nd minute.

North Korea played their typically defensive game which Team Melli found difficult to penetrate despite being in full control of both halves.

A draw between the hosts Qatar and Mali in the earlier match meant North Korea could afford to lose to Iran on Saturday having recorded victories in their opening two games.

North Korea finished on six points from three matches ahead of Qatar on four, then Mali (4) and Iran (3).

The hosts pipped Mali to second position on goal difference.

AFC Challenge

The North Koreans will next month head to Sri Lanka for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup where the winners of the region's second-tier tournament qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup.

North Korea have been drawn in the 'pool of death' at the World Cup with Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast in only their second World Cup campaign.

Meanwhile, Iran are preparing for the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers. The Persians are scheduled to play Singapore in a key qualifier on Wednesday January 6 at the Bishan Stadium.

Source: Agencies