SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea coach Yoon Duk-yeo said his side would have to take their 4-0 drubbing in their women’s World Cup opener against France on the chin and turn their minds immediately to their second match against Nigeria.
Yoon conceded that his team had been well beaten by the tournament hosts in front of 45,261 fans at Parc des Princes on Friday, paying for their lack of experience in playing the superpowers of the women’s game.
“We struggled so much today because we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to play powerful teams like France,” he told the Yonhap news agency.
“In order for South Korean football to develop further, we have to face these teams more often.
“We’ll have to accept this result, no matter how disappointed we are, and we have to start getting ready for the next one.”
Yoon admitted that conceding so many goals in their opener had hurt South Korea’s chances of getting through to the knockout stages for the second time after 2015 as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group phase.
The former international defender did feel, however, that his 22-year-old goalkeeper Kim Min-jung had done her best in the face of the overwhelming French onslaught.
“She doesn’t have much experience, and even though she gave up some goals, playing in a match like this should help her in the long run,” the coach said.
“As a team, we played an extremely tough match. We have to regroup quickly and get ready for the next two matches.”
Another youngster, Kang Chae-rim, also offered some hope with a lively display off the bench with Yoon hinting that the 21-year-old midfielder might get a start against the Nigerians in Grenoble on Wednesday.
“I am counting on our young players like Chae-rim to continue their growth after this type of match,” he said.
South Korea also face Norway in Reims on June 17 in the opening round group stage.
(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)