Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stielike defends South Korea display in narrow Lebanon win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Mar 2016

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South Korea head coach Uli Stielike insists their narrow 1-0 win over Lebanon was fully deserved despite the goal coming deep into injury time.

Korea maintained their 100 per cent winning record in World Cup qualifying in Ansan on Thursday, and have still yet to concede a goal during their campaign to reach Russia in 2018.

However, they were frustrated for long spells by a Lebanon side chasing a point to keep their campaign alive.

The match seemed destined to finish as a draw until substitute Lee Jeong-hyeop struck with almost the last kick of the match to secure the victory, but Stielike defended his team’s display, insisting they were the only ones who looked to attack.

“Until the 91st minute, I thought an unfair result could happen in football, but a minute later, my thoughts changed,” he told a post-match media conference. “We really got a win that was earned fairly. We were the only team on the pitch that went for an attack.

“I think our players had a big desire to finish the match with a clean sheet and a victory. That’s why they fought until the end.”

Former Real Madrid midfielder Stielike also paid tribute to ex-Barcelona star Johan Cruyff, who died after a long battle with cancer on Thursday.

“I knew he was battling lung cancer, but that’s shocking news,” said Stielike, who faced the former Netherlands star during his Barcelona spell. “It’s a very sad day for the football community.”

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