We were well prepared and we defended well'

Ji Yun-nam pulled one back for the North Koreans, going past two players and crashing home a left-foot drive in the 89th minute for a deserved consolation.

Until Maicon's strike, North Korea, making their first World Cup performance for 44 years, had looked capable of pulling off a result to match their famous 1-0 win over Italy in 1966.

The mystery men from the hermit state had spent over four months in a training camp in the run-up to the game and played with discipline, tenacity and no little skill on a freezing night at Ellis Park.

North Korea coach Kim Jong-hun was also content with his team's display. "We were very well prepared to fight, we defended very well," he said.

Image: North Korea's Ji Yun-nam celebrates after scoring against Brazil