Soccer-South Korea coach Bento feels no pressure ahead of Ghana match


Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - South Korea Press Conference - Main Media Center, Doha, Qatar - November 27, 2022 South Korea's Hwang In-beom and coach Paulo Bento during the press conference REUTERS/Gareth Bumstead

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (Reuters) - South Korea head coach Paulo Bento said he is under no pressure for Monday's World Cup Group H match against Ghana, where both teams need a victory after dropping points in the first game.

South Korea played out a gritty 0-0 draw with Uruguay but were poor in the final third and Ghana lost 3-2 to Portugal.

The Koreans are tied with Uruguay on one point, behind Portugal on three. Ghana prop up the standings and another defeat would knock them out of the World Cup.

"I said earlier I do not feel any pressure, I never did and never will," Portuguese Bento told reporters on Sunday.

"During the first game, we had a chance of at least ensuring a third-place finish. In the second game, we will keep this opportunity... we will enter the field with a focus on a win.

"I don't feel any pressure whatsoever. I would love the players to feel the way I do, but I know they come from a different culture... We will have a difficult game but we are able to do well."

After a miserable showing at the Cup of Nations this year, when they were dumped out in the group stage with only one point, Ghana are hoping for a better performance in Qatar.

"We have great and utmost respect for a great team in Ghana and the players who compete at a very high level," Bento said of Otto Addo's side.

"For our strategy, we have to try to be ourselves. We are very well aware of the skills and how good Ghana are, this will be a match where in some moments we will have the capacity to control the game.

"They have skilled players from a technical standpoint and they are also very quick in attack. We want to control the game, and also the moments when they are in attack."

South Korea defender Kim Min-jae is doubtful after suffering a calf injury in the last game, while forward Hwang Hee-chan is unavailable because of a hamstring injury after he was an unused substitute against Uruguay.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak, editing by Ed Osmond)

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