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After World Cup qualification, S. Korea coach vows to play attacking football

Returning home with a World Cup spot, South Korea football coach Shin Tae-yong said Thursday his side will now try to play attacking football.

South Korea confirmed their ninth consecutive World Cup appearance Tuesday after they played to a draw with Uzbekistan in Tashkent. They finished in second place in Group A in the final Asian qualifying round with 15 points, two points above third-place Syria. In Asia, only the top two teams in Groups A and B directly advance to the World Cup in Russia, while third-place teams need to enter playoff rounds to earn a berth.

Shin, who took over the helm in July, said now that they've earned a ticket to Russia, his side needs to play more competitive football.

Coach Shin Tae-yong (Yonhap)
Coach Shin Tae-yong (Yonhap)

  "Since we've achieved our goal, now we need to think about playing competitive football at the World Cup finals," Shin said to reporters at Incheon International Airport after arriving from Tashkent. "Now I'm thinking about playing my usual attacking style of football."

Although South Korea won their spot at the World Cup, some fans here criticized the national team's performance as the Taeguk Warriors failed to collect a win in their last two qualifying matches against Iran and Uzbekistan. Shin admitted that his side lacked a finishing touch around the net but will make improvements.

"I admit that we focused on defense in the last two qualifiers since we didn't want to concede a goal," he said. "But now I'm thinking about ways to overcome the world's football powerhouses (at the World Cup), instead of just sitting back and defending against them."

Shin said he has yet to think about the national team's future schedule and squad selection. The Korea Football Association (KFA) said the national team will have four friendly matches between October and November.

"I have yet to think about our team's schedule since we might have fallen to the playoffs," he said. "Now that we have some time, I will meet with the KFA to discuss the future schedule." (Yonhap)