S. Korea’s football style will not change against Australia: coach


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BRISBANE, Australia (Yonhap) — South Korea national football coach Paulo Bento said Friday that his side’s style of play will not change when they face Australia in a friendly match.

South Korea, 53rd in the latest FIFA rankings, will face 42nd-ranked Australia at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, on Saturday.

(Korea Football Association)

“Although we have some new faces, we will not have big changes in our style of play,” Bento said at a pre-match press conference.

“Our goal is to collect a win with the players showing improved performance.”

For the upcoming contest, South Korea brought 24 players, but they are without core players on both sides of the ball. Noticeable absentees are Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min, Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-yueng and FC Tokyo defender Jang Hyun-soo.

The friendly game is a tune-up for the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, which kicks off in January. After squaring off against Australia, South Korea will go head-to-head with Uzbekistan on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be tough tomorrow,” he said. “Australia will try to control the game with ball possession, and will use their talents in midfield and their quick wingers. We’ll also try to dominate the game.”

South Korea are on a four-game unbeaten streak since Bento took over the team in August. The men’s national football team beat Costa Rica 2-0, and collected a scoreless draw with Chile in September. Last month, South Korea edged out Uruguay 2-1 and played to a 2-2 draw against Panama. 

But all four matches were played at home. The friendly against Australia will be the first away match for Bento’s South Korean team. 

“We’re about to face a new challenge and it’s our goal to perform like we did at home,” he said. “Since we have quality players, I think it’s possible to achieve that goal.”


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