Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Canberra: Coach Paul Le Guen rued Oman’s misfortune following their narrow 1-0 defeat to two-time champions Korea Republic in their AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia opener on Saturday, after the West Asians hit the underside of the crossbar in stoppage time. Click here for Le Guen's flash interview
Forward Cho Young-cheol’s goal in first-half added time had given the South Koreans the lead at Canberra Stadium after Uli Stielike’s men had dominated the opening period in the rainy Australian capital, with Son Heung-min also hitting the woodwork in the first ten minutes of the game.
But in the final half hour of the proceedings the momentum began to swing Oman’s way following several attacking substitutions, and Frenchman Le Guen thought his side had snatched a point at the death as one of his changes, Amad Al Hosni, stole in at a corner to direct a header on goal only to see Kim Jin-hyeon turn the ball onto the bar and away.
“The goalkeeper made a great save at the end – a massive save. It was a great chance, and unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of that,” said Le Guen.
“We tried until the end, until the last minute. We desperately wanted to come back. I am disappointed because we were so close and we had clear chances.
“I think more and more we are getting to the same level to compete with teams like Korea Republic. When you only concede one goal against Korea you can be satisfied because against such a team that’s not nothing, it is proof that we are on the right path and we are improving.
“Although I am never totally satisfied when we lose, my players gave their best; they fought hard on the pitch. It was hard work so congratulations to Korea Republic team, they deserved to win.”
Along with Al Hosni, midfielder Mohsin Johar, who came on in the final quarter of an hour, impressed with his attacking play and Le Guen suggested that both may see further minutes in the next fixtures against hosts Australia and Kuwait.
“Amad Al Hosni is just coming back into the team from injury and his condition means he was not ready to start today, he knows this, and Mohsin is a young player, new to the team - he may be a big player in the future but I need to take care of him,” added Le Guen.
“I will check the situation of each of the players after this game, maybe I will change but we will see their condition. I am convinced whoever I pick will fight hard against Australia.”