Korea Republic coach Huh Jung-Moo admits he and his players have drawn inspiration from the performance of their northern neighbours against Brazil as they prepare to face Argentina in FIFA World Cup™ Group B tomorrow.
The North Koreans played with great discipline to keep Brazil at bay for 55 minutes, when only an unusual goal from an acute angle by Maicon opened the match up, with Dunga's men eventually prevailing 2-1. There may be a temptation for Huh to adopt similar safety-first tactics, with a draw a handy result for the Koreans against Argentina when added to the win they secured against Greece in their opening match and with a third game to come against Nigeria.
He said: "I watched the game and even though they lost they were confident and did quite a good job. We talked about that with our players. Looking at it as a game between a stronger team and a weaker team it gives you a lot to think about and we reflected a lot about that and thought about what would have happened if we were in their shoes. So we really did reflect a lot, we were inspired in some ways and got some good ideas. We did learn a lot by watching Tuesday's game."
We were inspired in some ways and got some good ideas.
Huh insists his team will not be intimidated tomorrow as he and his peers were in 1986 when they played against Diego Maradona -- then Argentina's star player and now their coach. "Twenty-four years ago when we first met Argentina, to tell you the truth, we were very intimidated and we really didn't know them. There was a difference in the levels which was quite wide," he admitted. "We had a lot to learn, we still do, but we have a lot of experience and we have good players. If you're too intimidated you can't achieve anything."
Korea's star man, Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung, has passed on information to his national team-mates about former Red Devils club colleague Carlos Tevez, who has since moved to Manchester City. Park warned he is in top form and backed his country to produce a shock result at Soccer City tomorrow lunchtime.
He said: "We have differences in our playing abilities but there is always the possibility for a weaker team to beat a stronger team. We will show you all what we have and if the play turns out as we wish and the flow of the game moves in our direction, then I think it will be quite a shock for a lot of people."