“It’s not about the strength of the Gambia, it’s about how eager we are to play,” said Kim Woon-joong, head coach of the South Korean national team at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina, ahead of their third group game against the Gambia.먹튀검증
Speaking at the Club Deportivo Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba training ground in Mendoza, Argentina, on the 28th (KST), Kim said, “I think the Gambia is a good team and a strong team in our group, so we have made thorough preparations.”
“We beat France in the first round, while Honduras, who lost in the first round, were eliminated if they lost in the second round, so I think the difference in desire made a difference in our performance in the second round,” Kim said. “I think the third round against The Gambia will also be about how desperate we are to play rather than the strength of The Gambia.”
“We analysed their previous two group games and the Africa Cup of Nations, and their organisation, individual ability and physicality were all outstanding,” Kim said of the Gambia, “Mamin Hunt (20-Bayern Munich) in particular is a threat, but they have a lot of good resources in each position, and there is no room to underestimate any of them, even the substitutes.”
“The Gambian defence is agile and fast,” said attacking midfielder Bae Joon-ho (20, Daejeon), who played in the second leg, “I don’t know where I’ll play, but I’ll try to use my physical players like Lee Young-joon (20, Gimcheon Sangmu) to attack through give-and-go play.”
Regarding the fitness issue that raised concerns immediately after the second leg, Kim said, “After the second leg, we managed the players with a focus on recovering their fitness, so we are doing a good job of managing their physical condition.” Bae Joon-ho, who played 53 minutes in the second game after missing the first due to a last-minute injury, said, “I’m grateful that my friends filled in well for me in the first and second games, and (if I play in the third game) I’ll play one step harder on behalf of my friends who are struggling.”
Earlier, on the 26th, the players left the mix zone with a somewhat sombre look on their faces after the 2-2 draw against Honduras, knowing that they had not qualified for the round of 16. “(The Honduras game) had a dark side because the players were left with more regrets and (they) thought they could have decided the game, but they didn’t,” Kim said, adding, “I told the players that there was no need for the mood to sag, and since we are managing the points well, we will create a good mood and show a good performance in tomorrow’s game.”
The third leg against Group F leaders Gambia (six points) will be played at the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, where the first two legs were played, at 6am on the 29th. The Koreans, who are second in the group with four points after two games, need only a draw against the Gambia to qualify for the round of 16 on their own.