Coach Shin Tae-yong blamed the height of the Swedish team for South Korea’s 1-0 loss to Sweden in their opening World Cup match on Monday in Russia.
A poor South Korea failed to register a shot on goal during the loss in Nizhny Novgorod, and are now five World Cup games without a win dating back to 2010.
After the match Shin said the Swede’s height had caused his players problems.
“We really wanted to win this game. That was the attitude from the players coming into the match,” Shin said after the loss.
“Following the first half we knew that could adjust to their height so we had prepared well in that way, players did as we had planned but I think psychologically they were a little concerned by the height of the Swedes.
“Other teams will have difficulties with the Swedes who will be threatening … at this World Cup because of their height.”
Former Korea leftback Lee Young-pyo on KBS after Sweden: "It's true that Sweden's biggest strength is in their height. Ours is in our speed, but our tactics weren't able to utilize it."
— Steve Han • 한만성 (@RealSteveScores) June 18, 2018
Meanwhile, star forward Son Heung-Min blamed himself and apologised to his teammates.
Tottenham forward Son, his nation’s greatest hope, said that he felt personally responsible for the loss.
“I’m still disappointed about my performance and feel very, very sorry for my teammates because if we don’t score, it’s my fault, because I need to take the responsibility,” he said.
Asked if it is harder to play for South Korea than for Tottenham, Son said that playing for Korea meant he had more responsibility.
“Of course it is a bit different, because when I play at Tottenham, every player is one of the best players,” Son said. “Sometimes, when I play for South Korea, I need to give the pass to the other players and sometimes, it is a bit different than Tottenham.”
With games against Mexico and Germany to come, he admitted things do not look promising for the Koreans.
“I think it’ll be tougher than today against [those] two teams.We need to be ready … mentally we need to be there. In football you never know.”