North Korea were one of the many teams who were drawn bye as far as the first round of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the Asian region is concerned. They went straight into the second round which played hosts to five teams each in eight groups.
The North Koreans were drawn in the last group (Group H) alongside rivals South Korea. The other teams in the group were Turkmenistan, Lebanon and Sri Lanka. North Korea would later withdraw from the group due to safety concerns connected to the Covid-19 pandemic.
North Korea began their qualifying campaign in the second round against Lebanon and it ended in victory. They were able to record a 2-0 win at home thanks to a pair of goals from JongII-gwan. Jong gave the North Koreans a perfect start in their qualifying campaignwith the opening goal in the seventh minute before he sealed the win with his brace eleven minutes into the second half.
In their second game in Group H, Jang kuk-chol scored the only goal of the game midway into the second half to give North Korea a 1-0 away win over Sri Lanka to make it two wins out of two games. They faced rivals South Korea in their next game and it ended in a goalless draw at home.
North Korea suffered a surprising defeat to hosts Turkmenistan via a 3-1 scoreline. Han kwang-Son scored a consolation goal for the North Koreans in stoppage time after the home team had scored three times through Titow, Amanow and Orazsahedow.
In their fifth game in the group, North Korea played out a goalless draw at the home of Lebanon and that was the their last game in the group before they pulled out of the qualifiers. They were still very much in contention to qualify for the third round of the Asian qualifiers ahead of Qatar 2022.