SPORTS

Korea will perform better in 'must-win' match vs. Argentina: coach

By Julie Kim Jackson
  • Published : May 22, 2017 - 20:00
  • Updated : May 22, 2017 - 20:00

South Korean football coach Shin Tae-yong said Monday his team will show an even better performance in its second match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup than it did in a convincing victory last weekend.

   Hosts South Korea opened the 2017 U-20 World Cup last Saturday by cruising to a 3-0 win over Guinea at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul.

   South Korea will face Argentina at the same venue on Tuesday for their second Group A match and Shin was confident that his side will collect another victory to clinch a spot in the round of 16.

In this 24-team competition, the top two from each group and the four-best third placed teams advance to the knockout stage.

   "In our first match, the players had some nerves, but we collected a good result at the end," Shin said before Monday's training session. "They've experienced what it is like to play in front of a massive crowd, so I think the players will feel more comfortable."

   Shin said a victory is the only result that he thinks about at this moment. Even a draw won't be good enough for him.

   "The worst situation for us is to pick up a draw," he said. "We will try to execute our plan and the result will follow."

   Argentina are expected to come out with a do-or-die mantra against South Korea because they suffered a 3-0 loss to England in their opener. Against England, Argentina dominated the possession of the ball for most of the match, but they were helpless against England's effective counterattacks.

   "Another draw will put Argentina in jeopardy, so they will be in a rush compared to us," he said. "They will bring more aggressive tactics than we will."

   Shin said South Korea should be especially aware of two Argentine players: Santiago Colombatto and Exequiel Palacios.

   "Argentina's No. 15 (Colombatto) controls the ball delicately, but No. 8 (Palacios) is the one who really can give us a challenge," he said. "If we lose our battle in the midfield against them, it will be really difficult for us."

   Shin said he will make some tactical changes to face Argentina, although he declined to offer details. He added South Korea will look back on their recently friendly match against Uruguay. South Korea beat Uruguay, the South American qualifying champions, 2-0 with a back three system.

   "There will be changes to our tactics, but I can assure you that our attacking football style will remain in place," he said.

"Against Guinea, we made too many easy mistakes, and that didn't help us to play smoothly, so we'll try to fix that problem."

   Shin added the team will also practice on set pieces, mostly focused on defense.

   "We had a clean sheet in the opening match, so we'll try to do it again," he said. "Although we allowed lots of shots in the first match, most of them were meaningless strikes. Our defense is stronger than before."