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S. Korea football coach praises players for execution vs. Colombia

All Headlines 23:14 November 10, 2017

By Joo Kyung-don

SUWON, South Korea, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea football coach Shin Tae-yong on Friday praised his players for executing his tactics in their 2-1 friendly win over Colombia.

South Korea, No. 62 in the latest FIFA rankings, beat 13th-ranked Colombia 2-1 at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, 46 kilometers south of Seoul, thanks to a double from Son Heung-min. The latest result ended South Korea's six-game winless streak.

"The players were all determined to win and they all played well," Shin said after the match. "Regardless of the result, they all performed as I wanted."

Shin said their tight defense was the key to their victory.

South Korea's national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong gives direction to his players during their friendly match against Colombia at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Nov. 10, 2017. (Yonhap)

"Colombia are a strong team and we knew we couldn't beat them in one-on-one situations," he said. "That's why our players cooperated with each other on defense, looking after each other and sometimes challenging the opponents together. This helped us to do well in other parts."

This was also the first win for Shin, who took over the helm in July after Uli Stielike's exit. He had two draws and two losses before Friday.

"With this victory, now we've gained confidence," he said. "This victory will give us energy to go forward."

Against Colombia, Shin deployed Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min as center forward in a 4-4-2 formation. The 25-year-old usually has been playing on the left flank.

Son executed his role successfully as he scored twice. In the 11th minute, he slotted the ball in between the legs of center back Cristian Zapata and past goalkeeper Andres Castellanos in the box. In the 61st, he doubled the lead with his right-footed strike from outside the box.

"After watching matches of Tottenham, I thought about ways to use Son and how he should move," Shin said.

On the defensive end, Shin said, "I decided that with a 4-4-2 system, we'd be able to contain them."

Starting FC Seoul defender Go Yo-han in the center midfield was also an unexpected move by Shin. The 29-year-old man-marked Colombian ace James Rodriguez throughout the match until he was replaced by Koo Ja-cheol in the 82nd.

"I noticed that James doesn't like physical contact and I ordered Go to follow him closely," he said. "I'm 100 percent satisfied with Go's performance. He had a job of man-marking James and he did it well."

This was Shin's first match with two veteran Spanish coaches -- Toni Grande and Javier Minano -- on his side. The two helped Spain to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 UEFA European Championship.

"They've sharing training programs of Spain and telling us many things from their experience with Spain," he said. "They also talk to the players freely and always work with us."


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