The Korea Herald


S. Korean football coach laments wasting chances vs. Northern Ireland

By Reuters

Published : March 25, 2018 - 09:28

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South Korean football coach Shin Tae-yong lamented his side's 2-1 defeat to Northern Ireland in international friendly on Saturday, saying their failure to convert chances prompted the result.

Shin's side scored first at Windsor Park in Belfast, with Kwon Chang-hoon's goal coming just seven minutes after the kick off, but Kim Min-jae's own goal in the 20th and Paul Smyth's winner in the 86th brought South Korea down.

This was South Korea's first defeat this year after collecting two wins and one draw in previous matches.

"In football, you have to score when you create chances, but we failed to do it," Shin said after the match. "We penetrated Northern Ireland's defense 
well, but we just couldn't convert it."

South Korea`s Son Heung-Min at National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast, Britain, on March 24, 2018. (Reuters-Yonhap) South Korea`s Son Heung-Min at National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast, Britain, on March 24, 2018. (Reuters-Yonhap)

South Korea made 13 shots compared to Northern Ireland's four attempts, but it was the hosts who smiled in the end.

"We were on a pitch we had never on played before, so we had some difficulties," he said. "We could have won the game, but the last goal by Northern Ireland ruined it."

South Korea deployed Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min as a left winger. The 25-year-old threatened Northern Ireland with his quickness and powerful shots, but failed to score.

"Son was tightly marked and he'll face similar situations in the future," he said. "We have to make Son shine, but he also needs to fight hard to overcome the difficulties."

The match against Northern Ireland was one of two friendlies before South Korea announce their final roster for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in May. The men's national team will face Poland on Tuesday.

Shin said some of the players gave promising performances, mentioning former Borussia Dortmund man Park Joo-ho, who assisted Kwon's goal. Park was playing for South Korea for the first time since June 2017.

"Park played well despite his long absence from the national team," he said. "As for Kwon, he looked little heavy on the pitch, but he'll do well as he plays more games."

Shin had emphasized that the friendly against Northern Ireland was to test South Korea's tactics against Sweden at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. South Korea are in Group F at the World Cup in Russia, along with Germany, Mexico and Sweden.  (Yonhap)