Bento satisfied with S. Korean players’ performance in win vs. Costa Rica

September 7, 2018

GOYANG, South Korea, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) — After collecting a win in his South Korea football coaching debut, Paulo Bento said Friday that he is satisfied with the way his players showed their talent and quality.

South Korea defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in a friendly match at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, north of Seoul. Lee Jae-sung and Nam Tae-hee scored a goal apiece to get Bento off to a winning start with his new team.

“It’s always happy when you win,” Bento said at the post-match press conference. “I’m especially satisfied because it’s a victory that showed our players’ talent and quality. I also liked how we played the game, and how we created good moments.”

Bento, who was named the new South Korea boss on Aug. 17, used a 4-2-3-1 formation against Costa Rica. Under his guidance, the Taeguk Warriors were efficient and aggressive, with seven of 11 shots on target.

South Korea national football team head coach Paulo Bento listens to South Korea's national anthem with his coaching staff ahead of a friendly football match between South Korea and Costa Rica at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, north of Seoul, on Sept. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korea national football team head coach Paulo Bento listens to South Korea’s national anthem with his coaching staff ahead of a friendly football match between South Korea and Costa Rica at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, north of Seoul, on Sept. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

“Our goal was to dominate the match for 90 minutes,” he said. “Our defense was good and our transition from defense to offense was good. The players executed well and did what they were ordered to do.”

In Bento’s debut match, Son Heung-min wore the captain’s armband instead of Ki Sung-yueng, who had been captain for the past few years. Bento said the switch was made after his team had a long discussion.

“First of all, we played a good game as a team in a new phase,” he said. “I can’t tell in detail how we decided to choose Son as captain because that’s our internal issue, but we had enough talks.”

Ki previously hinted at retiring from the national team after the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But following Bento’s selection, Ki played 45 minutes and earned his 106th cap.

“As far as I know, Ki will stay with the national team,” Bento said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

In his starting lineup, Bento used two players who didn’t compete at the 2018 World Cup — Nam and Ji Dong-won. Nam turned out to be a success as he earned a penalty kick and scored the team’s second goal.

“I pick players who can best display their talents with this team,” he said. “It’s going to be that way when I make selections, and I will use those players in the future.”

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