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Kim Young-gwon: ‘We can create a miracle against Portugal’

Kim Young-gwon: ‘We can create a miracle against Portugal’

South Korea defender Kim Young-gwon has said that his side will be looking to “create a miracle” in their Group H contest with Portugal on Friday.

The Tigers of Asia have only picked up one point from their two games at the 2022 World Cup, which has left them in third position in the section behind leaders Portugal and Ghana.

Portugal have already qualified for the last-16 stage of the competition, and a point on Friday would be enough for Fernando Santos‘s side to top the section.

South Korea, though, need to triumph to stand a chance of progressing to the round of 16.

Young-gwon has said that his side will need to have the perfect game plan and will also require “a bit of luck” in order to overcome the European nation.

Cho Gue-sung celebrates scoring for South Korea against Ghana on November 28, 2022© Reuters

The defender mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo as the main danger to his side, but the 37-year-old has emerged as a doubt for Friday’s match after sitting out Wednesday’s training session.

“He (Ronaldo) is a world-class player, this is a well known fact and they have all these talented players. To contain them we’ll have to play as a team, as one unit,” Young-gwon told reporters.

“We played our first two games with passion and we’re going to have to show that passion again tomorrow. But we’ll also need a bit of luck. If we have all that, we can create a miracle.”

South Korea coach Paulo Bento in September 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, South Korea boss Paulo Bento has said that Portugal will still be able to field a strong team even if Santos decides to shuffle his pack for the contest.

“He (Santos) can play in different ways, with different formations, he can make three or four changes in his team and they stay at the same level,” said Bento.

“In addition, the context is favourable to them, since they are already qualified and a draw will ensure first place.”

Bento will not be in the dugout against Portugal following his red card against Ghana last time out, but the 53-year-old has said that he fully trusts his assistants.

“They make most of the choices, they suggest them to me. It’s not going to be a problem. This time they will be on their own but it won’t change much,” he added.

South Korea drew 0-0 with Uruguay in their competition opener on November 24 before suffering a 3-2 loss to Ghana last time out.

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