Stars of Asiad

(Asiad) S. Korean football coach not satisfied with win over Malaysia

2014/09/14 19:56

By Yoo Jee-ho

INCHEON, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Though South Korea blanked Malaysia 3-0 to kick off its Asiad men's football campaign on Sunday, head coach Lee Kwang-jong said he wasn't entirely satisfied with his team's performance.

"The players didn't look so sharp, and I think the pressure of playing the first match had something to do with it," the coach said at the post-match press conference at Munhak Stadium in Incheon, host of the 17th Asian Games. "I am not 100 percent satisfied with the match overall, and we still have a lot of work to do."

   Lee said the players lacked organization in the first half of the Group A clash, but made some improvement in the second half.

"This was only the second match for us together, after the practice game against the United Arab Emirates (last week)," the coach said. "Hopefully, as we play more matches, we will learn to play better with each other. We're going to have to watch videos and break down our plays."

   Lee pointed out that the offensive players must improve their chemistry with striker Kim Shin-wook, who, at 196 centimeters, can tower over most Asian defenders.

Kim scored South Korea's second goal on Sunday, but Lee said Kim himself has to get better.

"We were off the mark on set pieces in the first half, and we couldn't make the passes we wanted in tight spaces," the coach added. "Fortunately, we appeared to be the better-conditioned side in the second half and that helped us win the match."

   Lee's squad will next face Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Earlier on Sunday, Saudi Arabia defeated Laos 3-0 and is expected to provide South Korea's toughest challenge in Group A.

Lee didn't seem much impressed by Saudi Arabia's victory, saying he expected Saudi Arabia to be on a similar level as Malaysia.

"I think they will play a defensive-minded game and will try to score in counterattack situations," the coach said of his next opponent. "We'll try to figure out ways to break down their defensive wall."

   Lee might not have been too pleased with his team's win, but his Malaysian counterpart, Ong Kim Swee, said his squad was thoroughly defeated.

"We came here and played against a strong team," the coach said. "We lost concentration toward the end. And when that happens against a good team, you get punished."