(World Cup) Putting Sweden defeat behind, S. Korea polish up tactics for Mexico

June 20, 2018
South Korea national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (R) talks with forward Hwang Hee-chan (C) before training at Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov, a suburb of Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 20, 2018. (Yonhap)

South Korea national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (R) talks with forward Hwang Hee-chan (C) before training at Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov, a suburb of Saint Petersburg, Russia, on June 20, 2018. (Yonhap)

By Joo Kyung-don

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia, June 20 (Yonhap) — Trying to rise from their opening match loss to Sweden, South Korea on Monday conducted their first tactical training for the upcoming match against Mexico behind closed doors.

South Korea will face Mexico at Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don on Saturday for their second match in Group F. South Korea suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their group opener, while Mexico stunned defending champions Germany with a 1-0 win.

Only the first 15 minutes of training was opened to the press as the players practiced passing drills and ball control, with some showing smiles on their faces. Among 23 players, only Park Joo-ho, who is ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a hamstring injury, was absent.

South Korea returned to their base camp in Saint Petersburg on Monday just hours after they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Sweden in their Group F opener at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod.

In their post-match training on Tuesday, South Korea focused on recovery of the players who started against Sweden, while those who didn’t play or had little time on the pitch had shooting practice and other drills on a rain-soaked pitch at Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov, a suburb of Saint Petersburg.

For Wednesday’s training, South Korea reportedly practiced their defensive tactics that aim to contain the quick and energetic Mexican forwards. The national team also tested their tactics to improve the effectiveness of their attack. South Korea had no shots on target in the match against Sweden.

South Korea will have one more training session before heading to Rostov-on-Don on Thursday.

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