Defeated S. Korea coach blames elimination on inefficient offense
ABU DHABI-- South Korea coach Paulo Bento pinned the blame on an inefficient offense following his side's quarterfinals loss to Qatar at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup on Friday.
Qatar sent South Korea packing with a 1-0 victory at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. South Korea entered the match ranked 40 spots above Qatar in the world at No. 53, but the position meant nothing, as the offense that had been lackluster all tournament long failed to bounce back.
Bento said South Korea played a difficult contest against the well-organized Qatari defense.
"I think the opponents played a more efficient match than we did," he said. "In the first half, we weren't able to have quick buildups. We were too slow with changing directions of our attacks. It's disappointing that we couldn't make quick passes in the first half, though we didn't give up counterattack opportunities and responded well to some mistakes early on."
Bento insisted he will stick to his current play book, adding South Korea still created more scoring chances than their opponents despite their overall inefficiency on offense.
"It's true that we didn't score as many goals as our performance warranted," the coach said. "But I won't agree with the notion that we didn't generate our chances. We're not going to change our style of play."
After the loss, some South Korean players were seen voicing their displeasure with referee Ravshan Irmatov. Bento said officiating didn't have a bearing on the match's result and added, "We were eliminated because we couldn't capitalize on our chances, not because of officiating."
Source: Yonhap News Agency