North Korea beat a spirited Singapore Under-15 side 3-0 in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 match on Friday night at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Despite the win, the defending champions were not pleased with their performance.
"Physically my players were not well prepared for the match," said their coach Kim Yong Hun after the game.
Singapore's defence was solid throughout the match, as they frustrated their opponents. The favourites found the net only once in the first half via a direct free-kick by defender Yun Min.
The hosts conceded two more goals in the 70th minute and right before the final whistle, thanks to strikes by Kye Tam and Ri Song Jin respectively.
Singapore's coach V. Selvaraj was pleased that his players stuck to the game plan against their stronger opponents. He said: "We planned to be disciplined in defence. All I'd wanted them to do is to stay close to each other, get tight and win the ball. They showed a lot of heart and listened to instructions."
North Korea will go on to face Thailand, who beat Cambodia 1-0 in an earlier match, in the final Group H game on Sunday. The winner is guaranteed a spot in the finals held in India next September.
Meanwhile, Singapore will look to score their first goal of the qualifiers when they take on Cambodia.