South Korea coach Shin Tae-yong thinks his side have a “one per cent chance” of beating Germany and qualifying for the World Cup knockout phase when they face each other in Kazan on Wednesday.
Although Korea have lost each of their two Group F games so far, they could still get through to the last 16 if they beat Germany by two goals and Sweden lose to Mexico.
The reigning champions put themselves back in contention for a place in the next round during a dramatic 2-1 win over Sweden – Toni Kroos securing the victory with a spectacular strike despite Germany initially going 1-0 down in the first half and seeing Jerome Boateng sent off in the second.
The odds are stacked against Korea for Wednesday’s clash, but Shin’s men are focusing on the slightest of hope rather than the looming likelihood of failure.
“The domestic press knows that before the World Cup about half the players were injured,” Shin told reporters at the Kazan Arena.
“As time has gone by there’s been improved teamwork, but we face the defending champions and even if we improve the teamwork, I don’t think it’ll be that easy.
— 대한축구협회(KFA) (@theKFA) June 26, 2018
“We have a one per cent chance, a slim hope and we will try to find the opportunity to have a wonderful end to the World Cup.
“Teamwork has improved but with time we’ve also had injures, so it’s not easy.”
Star player Son Heung-min sang from the same hymn sheet as his coach, highlighting Germany’s significantly greater depth before pointing out Mexico were able to beat them, giving them hope.
“It’s a fact, Germany is a lot stronger than us,” Son added. “But we have to have a mindset that we can do it.
“Individually speaking they are a lot stronger than us, but I believe we can do it.
“As we saw in the match against Mexico, their players were really determined and with that mindset we can play a game we won’t regret and the results will follow.
“If they are a lot better than us we must accept it, there’s not much we can do, but we shall do our utmost.”
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