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A 'precious' win for Korea Republic, says Bento

Saturday, October 13, 2018
Son Heung-min-Korea-Urguay-AFP

Seoul: Korea Republic head coach Paulo Bento has described his team's 2-1 win over Uruguay in an international friendly on Friday as a "precious" victory.

Korea Republic, 55th in the latest FIFA rankings, beat No 5 Uruguay 2-1 in a packed Seoul World Cup Stadium for the Taeguk Warriors' first win against the South American side, having previously only drawn one of their seven matches against them.

Bento said although his players did well, they looked to be rushing in the closing stages of the match which was part of Korea Republic's preparations for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 UAE.

"We played a good quality game," Bento said. "It's a precious win because we got this result against a great team. We know that Uruguay are a very organised team with experienced players."

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The former Portugal coach has enjoyed a bright start to his Korea Republic career as Friday's win was the second in three matches, with the Taeguk Warriors having defeated Costa Rica 2-0 and drawn 0-0 with Chile in September.

Against Uruguay, Bento used the same 4-3-3 lineup that Korea Republic deployed in the draw with Chile, with the only change being Kim Seung-gyu coming in as goalkeeper in place of Kim Jin-hyeon.

Asked if he will stick to the same lineup for the January 5-February 1 AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Bento said he will make the decision after the remaining friendly matches this year.

"We're still in the process of building our team philosophy, and I decided the starting lineup based on what I saw in training and the players' performance in recent matches," he said. "We still have to see what this team can do in other matches and I'll decide later whether I should make changes or not."

Even though they collected a historic win, Bento said he will keep trying to make improvements to the team.

Bento's side will face Panama at Cheonan Stadium on Tuesday with Australia (November 17) and Uzbekistan (November 20) also lined up.

In the AFC Asian Cup 2019 UAE, Korea Republic open their Group C campaign against the Philippines on January 7 followed by Kyrgyz Republic (January 11) and China PR (January 16).

Sources: Yonhap, AFP

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