Mattouk celebrates scoring Lebanon’s second goal.
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Lebanon finally scratched a 17-year itch Tuesday, meting out a 5-0 shellacking to North Korea to seal their place in the Asian Cup for the first time since hosting the tournament in 2000 .The win tightened Lebanon's grip on top spot in Group B, moving them onto 10 points from four matches.And with second placed Hong Kong (5) and third placed North Korea (2) still to play their return leg, Lebanon are guaranteed a top two finish and an automatic place in the Asian Cup.If Helwe's opportunism impressed Radulovic then Lebanon's second would have left him purring.Lebanon's discursive play didn't stop there, as the forward triumvirate of Ataya, Maatouk and Helwe continued to interchange positions and combine seamlessly.With the result all but assured Lebanon repeatedly poured forward.Maatouk's replacement Mohammad Haidar threatened Lebanon's fourth with his second touch of the match, controlling a pass before his searing strike grazed the net at the near post.Ri Yong Chol took up the defensive cudgels for his outmanned side, but his attempts at thwarting Ataya proved as futile as those of his foreunners.Shifting the ball onto his stronger left side, Ataya then cut inside to leave Ri grasping at air as a crisp finish followed to complete Lebanon's rout and leave them celebrating a place in the Asian Cup for the first time since 2000 .
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