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(LEAD) (U20 World Cup) S. Korea should stay alert at all times vs. Portugal: coach

All Headlines 19:46 May 29, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES photo; ADDS more comments in last 2 paras)
By Joo Kyung-don

CHEONAN, South Korea, May 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football coach Shin Tae-yong said Monday his side will have to stay alert at all times when they play against Portugal in their first knockout match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Hosts South Korea will face Portugal on Tuesday in the round of 16 at the U-20 World Cup at Cheonan Sports Complex in Cheonan, some 90 kilometers south of Seoul. The young Taeguk Warriors finished second in Group A with two wins and one loss, while Portugal were runners-up in Group C with one win, one draw and one loss.

Shin said a high level of concentration is needed for his players when they take on the two-time tournament champions.

"One percent of carelessness is not allowed for us," Shin told reporters before their training at Cheonan Football Centre. "But we've analyzed our opponents a lot, and I believe we can play a good match."

South Korea have yet to beat Portugal at the U-20 level, marking only three draws and four losses. In their latest meeting in January, South Korea and Portugal played to a 1-1 draw.

"Portugal is a strong football nation," he said. "If you look at their squad, many players are with pro clubs and they are certainly not an easy team."

Shin said he has been analyzing videos of Portugal matches and reviewed their own matches to find areas for improvement.

"We've analyzed each player's style of play and what they're good at," he said. "I've been studying what we should do to beat Portugal."

Shin hinted that there will be a slight change to the team's usual tactics. The 46-year-old tactician used a back three system against Argentina and England, and deployed a back four against Guinea in their group stage matches.

"If Portugal strikers find their scoring touch, they will be really powerful," he said. "However, I believe our players can also dismantle Portugal's defense."

Shin's side could face a penalty shootout in the knockout stage, but the head coach said he is ready.

"We should end the match in 90 matches, but we're preparing for every detail of the penalty shootout since we heard there are some changes," he said. "Our goalkeeper Song Bum-keun has been great. I have deep trust in him."

South Korea's under-20 national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong looks his players at Cheonan Football Centre in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, on May 29, 2017, one day ahead of their FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16 match against Portugal. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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