South Korea coach has doubts about costly penalty call

Marcus Newton
June 21, 2018

Italy's conqueror's Sweden started the World Cup with a win, beating South Korea 1-0 in a drab game in Nizhny Novgorod.

Despite their increasing dominance, Sweden also demonstrated why they have struggled to score goals.Berg, again, and Claesson went close before the end of the half, but it was clear for everyone to see why they had only scored once in their four matches prior to Russian Federation.

South Korea's Kim Min-woo brings down Viktor Claesson in the penalty area. The ref had initially waved play on.

But from his vantage point, Shin thought otherwise. But he took another look and decided Kim had tripped Claesson as he tried to clear the ball.

Sweden coach Janne Andersson said the penalty was "crystal-clear", adding: 'We played the match way we had intended, but I'm a little unhappy with the chances we didn't put away'.

When pressed about the call again during his post-match press conference, Shin said, "I accept the decision". Though Sweden has some great players, Son Heung-Min and team can give them a tough competition.

He said he had set his team up to include taller players, such as 1.89 metre (6 feet two inch) goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo, who excelled.

South Korea started off brightly with Hwang Hee-chan causing problems down the right but Son was largely anonymous and it was not until seven minutes after the break that the Red Devils created a chance worth the name.

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After an impressive season with Tottenham, Son Heung-min would expect to make a mark in Russian Federation but he was largely anonymous other than one impressive run in the first half.

Shin said his players were unable to build on the early momentum because they were too anxious about the Swedes' physique and got away from their game. I think other teams will also have trouble scoring against Sweden.

The Swedes had a decent record going into the tournament (despite never winning it), having finished as runners-up in 1958, on home soil, and in third place in 1994, the second time they had achieved the feat since 1950.

Shin said the lethargic performance against Sweden wasn't for any lack of trying, but the task doesn't get any easier.

After Mexico had blown the group wide open with their upset of Germany on Sunday, the Swedes and the South Koreans were fancying their chances of qualifying from their group.

"We had all worked hard to prepare for this match. I am incredibly proud of all the lads and now we focus on the next match against Germany".

Asked about his thoughts on how his team will fare against Mexico, Shin said, "The ball is round". "We are looking forward to the match. we have had excellent preparations". "Mexico played very fast, very good counter-attack and they surprised me".

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