South Korea assistant coach Sergio Costa said Monday’s 3-2 defeat by Ghana was an unfair result for the Asian side, whose World Cup campaign is stalling with the team rooted to the bottom of Group H.
Cho Gue-sung’s brace was not enough for South Korea to pull off a comeback against Ghana in a match in which the Koreans dominated the opening exchanges but paid the price for making errors.
South Korea have one point from a goalless draw with Uruguay and they need to beat Portugal in Friday’s final group game to have any hope of reaching the last 16. Portugal and Uruguay meet later on Monday.
Costa addressed the post-match news conference after head coach Paulo Bento was shown a red card for his protestations in the final minute of the game when the referee blew the whistle with South Korea about to take a corner.
“In the first 25 minutes, we were able to control the game with ball possession which was very good. We made good passes and fulfilled our strategy for the match. After the first goal, things changed until the end of the first half,” Costa said.
“At that moment, we lost control. The second half was totally different -- we had control, ball possession and created opportunities to score.
“The result is totally unfair. Not even a tie would have been fair. We clearly deserved a win... count on us for the next match.”
South Korea players looked dejected after the game as they fell to the ground, while captain and key player Son Heung-min was in tears.
Asked about their reaction, Costa said: “The reaction is of a group that felt a lack of fairness at the end. It is normal for someone (to react that way when) they did all they could to win but weren’t able to do so.
“I think we should be sad and have a feeling of lack of justice but we also have to be very proud that we gave our all on the pitch.”
Bento’s red card means the Portuguese will not be on the touchline when South Korea take on his native country, who are captained by Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He won’t be present on the day of the game and that will be a loss for us because he is a great manager... but that will make us get better, be united and bring together all our energies,” the assistant coach added.