N Korea can still reach 2nd round: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

N Korea can still reach 2nd round: coach

21/06/2010 04:43:13 AM Comments (0)

Despite being drawn in the toughest group and losing the first game, North Korea coach Kim Jong Hun believes his team can still reach the second round at the World Cup.

The Koreans only lost 2-1 to Brazil last Tuesday in a resilient display, but they will be eliminated from Group G if they lose to Portugal on Monday. North Korea then meets Ivory Coast and star striker Didier Drogba on Friday.

"In our case, what we think would be a good result or an achievement would be to pass out of the group phase. That is our main goal," Kim said Sunday. "Then afterward, in the round of 16, if we can go further then that would be wonderful. That would be our next step."

They have reached the quarterfinals before.

North Korea made its debut on football's biggest stage at the 1966 tournament in England, and their standout performances have endured in national lore. North Korea upset Italy 1-0 to become the first team from Asia to advance to the final eight.

Portugal, also making its World Cup debut in 1966, ended North Korea's fairy-tale run with a 5-3 victory after having trailed 3-0.

The immediate task, though, will be to stop Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

"We're not going to focus on one person in particular," Kim said. "I'm not going to say I'm going to have a man-on-man defense against one player, and I'm not going to talk about the overall strategy or tactics.

"A man-on-man defense might be needed - it depends on the situation. We have to look at how the game flows."

Kim downplayed fears forward Jong Tae Se would not be fully fit, saying he "does not have an injury that would prevent him from playing to his full potential."

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