SEOUL– Paulo Bento, head coach of the South Korean men’s national football team, can live with mistakes over the course of a match. He just wants his players to keep them from snowballing.
Bento and his Taegeuk Warriors will face Cameroon at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul, for their second World Cup tuneup match of September. South Korea were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Costa Rica last Friday, needing captain Son Heung-min’s late free kick goal to pull even.
As he had done in the immediate aftermath of Friday’s game, Bento spent much of his prematch press conference on Monday defending his team’s performance against Costa Rica.
“Our defensive organization was, in my opinion, good,” Bento said in the online session. “Mistakes are going to appear in every game. What’s important is we make those mistakes a little bit smaller and not let them become bigger and bigger.”
Perhaps mindful of constant criticism of South Korea’s defensive performance in the media and among the fans, Bento pointedly said, “I think the Korean press likes facts and numbers. Just check how many opportunities we had after we recovered the ball. It’s easy to check how good we were in the defensive organization.”
Bento also announced that he will make “more than one” change to his starting lineup Tuesday but added, “None of the changes we’re going to make will be because of some bad individual performances. We’re going to change due to other aspects.”
Those other aspects include trying to win the game while sticking to the same style of play that Bento implemented in the beginning and respecting the opponent.
“Every moment is an opportunity for all of us to show what we want to do and how we want to do it,” the coach said. “And we know that many, many players from this list will be in the World Cup. But I don’t know if all of them are going to be there. It’s important that all of them think in this way.”
Source: Yonhap News Agency