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Important for South Korea to be themselves, says head coach Paulo Bento ahead of vital Ghana match

Important for South Korea to be themselves, says head coach Paulo Bento ahead of vital Ghana match

South Korea's Son Heung-min warms up during the South Korea's official training on the eve of the group H World Cup soccer match between South Korea and Ghana, at the Al Egla Training Site 5 in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

DOHA: South Korea are eyeing all three points in a vital game against Ghana on Monday (Nov 28), and what will be key is for them to be themselves, said head coach Paulo Bento.

"I believe the most important aspect (for the game against Ghana) is for us to just be ourselves. We have the personality which we were able to show in our last match," he said at a pre-match press conference on Sunday (Nov 27).

"During the first game, we had a chance of at least reaching the third place ... In the second game, we will keep this opportunity ...  We will of course enter the field of play focusing on winning," he said.

South Korea gained a creditable point in their opening game against Uruguay, who are 14th in the world and were semi-finalists in 2010 and quarter-finalists in 2018. 

But Bento's side showed no signs of being overawed and look comfortable against a side some had tipped to be the tournament dark horses.

Ghana on the other hand were edged 3-2 by Portugal in their opening match, and could have rescued a point right at the death if not for an Inaki Williams slip. 

Bento described his opponents as a "great" team and said they had a lot of respect for them.

"They have a strong defense line and also a very strong attack ... We know it will be a difficult game, we need to be up to the task as we did in the first game," he explained.

"I am sure they have the very same objective we have, which is to take a win in tomorrow's match."

Portugal are currently top of the group on three points, while South Korea sit in second with a point. The last time South Korea advanced to the round of 16 was at the 2010 edition of the tournament where they were eliminated 2-1 by Uruguay.

When it comes to feeling pressure, Bento has sang from the same hymn sheet throughout the tournament.

And he continued in the same vein on Monday, when asked what he would do to ensure South Korea takes the three points.

"I do not feel any pressure," said the Portuguese coach. "I never did and never will."

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Source: CNA/mt(rj)


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