South Korea reach goal but want more (Feature)
By Veronica Sardon Jun 23, 2010, 1:03 GMT
Durban - South Korea attained their first World Cup goal Tuesday as they reached the tournament's round of 16 with a 2-2 draw against Nigeria.
But they want more.
'I know that our players will not be satisfied,' coach Huh Jung- moo told a press conference after the match in Durban. 'They will want to reach the semifinals.'
This was the first time South Korea advanced past the first round in a World Cup away from home soil. They made it through to the semifinals in 2002, when they hosted the tournament along with Japan.
Captain Park Ji Sung, Tuesday's man of the match, stressed that his team do not want to get carried away despite their historic achievement.
'We just think about the next game,' he said. 'Our goal was the last 16. So now every single game coming up, we just think it's a final.'
The Manchester United midfielder, who was a constant threat to the Nigerian defence and set up numerous goal-scoring chances, though he did not score himself, noted that he was very proud of his team-mates for their joint achievement.
Park and the rest of solid South Korea on Saturday will face Uruguay, who showed as they rose to the top of Group A that they are a strong team. They did not concede any goals in three first-round matches, and they were most efficient in their play.
Huh admitted that the South Americans are 'very tough players,' and he highlighted striker Luis Suarez among them. South Korean defender Cha Du-ri, in turn, underlined the importance of another Uruguay striker, Diego Forlan.
'They're a strong team with a world class player,' Cha said.
Park agreed: 'Their quality, strength, their performance was great in their group, so we have to prepare well.'
But the South Koreans were not ready to give up the fight.
'In the knock-out system it's 50-50. We will give everything, and then we'll see,' Cha said.
Huh said the outcome would depend 'on who controls the flow of the game.'