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AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Bento rues Korea Republic's lack of efficiency, Hasek praises Lebanon's fighting spirit


Suwon: Paulo Bento believes more work is needed on his side's attacking game after Korea Republic spurned numerous chances in their slim 1-0 win over Lebanon in their AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar Group A clash at Suwon World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.

Substitute Kwon Chang-hoon scored the tie's only goal on the hour, just two minutes after coming on, to earn the home side their first win of the Group A campaign at the rain-soaked venue in Suwon city.

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"In general, the victory was fair. The goal difference, in my opinion, is not," Bento said in his postmatch press conference.

"If we had been (more) efficient in the first half, we could have decided the game in the first 45 minutes.

"The part of the game that I didn't like so much was when we started controlling the game in our defensive midfield, instead of controlling the game in the offensive midfield."

AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar: Korea Republic 1-0 Lebanon

"When opponents play with the low block, it's difficult to find that kind of space. But I am satisfied because of the victory and also because I think the performance was good.

"We are now thinking about October and trying to play as well as possible, correct certain things we did, and prepare for the next two games in the best possible way."

Ivan Hasek admitted that Korea Republic had been the dominant team, but insisted his Lebanon side could have got something out of the game after a doughty defensive display and some stunning saves from a magnificent Mostafa Matar had kept the Cedars in the tie, before a late chance at the end could have snatched a point for the visitors.

“Korea Republic were the better side tonight as they put pressure on us in the match," said the Czech coach.

"They are one of the strong teams in the world but our national team had the courage to show a good performance in the match and also had some chances to score in the second half.

"We deserved to get at least a point from the match as we played with big fighting spirit today."

"We played defensively in certain stages because we know the strengths of our opponents and we tried to limit the spaces for them.

“Korea Republic had 11 corner kicks in the first half but they couldn’t score because we stopped them. However, in the second half they scored a goal from a slight error while we could have scored in the last minutes of the second half.

“Our goalkeeper Moustafa Matar was superb tonight along with the rest of the group who gave their best despite the long trip to Korea and the difficult weather circumstances that we had including the absence of some players.”

“The qualifiers are not over yet and we will be playing with a better performance in the next matches. The good thing is that we gave the chance to some new faces who proved that they deserve to play and this is good for the future.”

When the sides return to AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar action in October, Korea Republic will host Syria at Seoul World Cup Stadium before a much-anticipated tie at the Azadi Stadium against Islamic Republic of Iran, while Lebanon are set to face fellow West Asian sides Iraq and Syria on the road.

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