S. Korea coach disappointed with draw vs. N. Korea in World Cup qualifier

October 15, 2019


South Korea men’s football coach Paulo Bento expressed disappointment with his team’s scoreless draw against North Korea in their World Cup qualifying match in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

The 37th-ranked South Korea couldn’t put one past the 113th-ranked North Korea at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, a match held behind closed doors with no spectators from either side and no media on hand for coverage.

With seven points, South Korea remained in first place in Group H of the second Asian qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. North Korea also have seven points but trail South Korea in goal difference, plus-10 to plus-3.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) in Seoul delivered match-related information to the local press here with the help of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). According to the KFA, Bento was asked to comment on the result in his post-match press conference but there were no additional questions.

“The referee (Abdulrahman Al Jassim) halted the match too frequently, and the match played out different than normal matches,” Bento said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted. But we’re still in first place, and we’ll continue to work to achieve our goal of finishing in first place.”

The top two teams from each of the eight groups, plus four-best runners-up, will move on to the third round.

South Korea are trying to qualify for their 10th straight World Cup.

The KFA said there were no mixed zone interviews for players after the match.

Bento’s players traveled to Pyongyang via Beijing, and they’ll once again have a stopover in the Chinese capital on their way home. The KFA said the national team will leave Pyongyang on a 5:20 p.m. flight Wednesday and is scheduled to land at Incheon International Airport at 12:45 a.m. Thursday.