Belfast Telegraph

Korea coach Huh Jung-moo undaunted by threat of Argentina

By Damian Spellman at Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth

South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo has told his players not to be afraid of Argentina as they attempt to prolong their stay at the World Cup.

The Koreans sit proudly at the top of Group B, ahead of the two-time World Cup winners on goal difference, following Saturday's 2-0 victory over Greece.

They will face a much tougher test, however, at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Thursday when they go head-to-head with Diego Maradona's men, knowing the winners are destined to head the group and make it through to the last 16 – something the Asian side has only achieved once.

But while Huh knows his team will be up against it, he insists they will not go into the game having already lost it in their minds.

He said: "Argentina are one of the contenders for the final and they have a lot of very good players. They are a very tough team to play against. But I have told my players, we have to remain confident no matter who our opponent is.

"If we do what we have to do, regardless of the result, we can manage to grow as a team. Of course, our players have to grow a lot more – there are still rough edges."

South Korea have every reason for optimism, if not hope of springing a major surprise, then at least of making it into the second phase of the competition ahead of the Greeks and Nigeria, who lost 1-0 to Argetina at Ellis Park.

Kashima Antlers central defender Lee Jung-soo opened the scoring with a seventh-minute volley, and Manchester United's Park Ji-sung secured the points with a 52nd-minute strike as a late Greece fightback came up well short.

Park said: "We knew Greece were very strong in the air and very good from set-plays, corners and free-kicks and things like that.

"When we were attacking, we looked for the empty spaces and we managed to take advantage of those empty spaces and penetrate the defences of the Greek team."

South Korea (4-4-2): Jung; Cho, J-S Lee, Y-P Lee, Cha; J-S Park, J-W Kim, C-Y Park (S-Y Lee, 87), Ki (N-I Kim, 74); C-Y Lee (J-S Kim, 90), Yeom. Substitutes not used: W-J Lee (gk), Oh, H-I Kim, Ahn.

Greece (3-4-3): Tzorvas; Seitaridis, Papadopoulos, Vyntra; Torosidis, Tziolis, Karagounis (Patsatzoglou, 46), Katsouranis; Samaras (Salpigidis, 59), Charisteas (Kapetanos, 61), Gekas. Substitutes not used: Chalkias (gk), Spyropoulos, Moras, Kyrgiakos, Ninis.

Referee: M Hester (New Zealand).

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