Eriksson sees Ivorians lose to South Korea

SOUTH Korea coach Huh Jung-moo pledged to give his players homework to prepare for this summer's World Cup finals as Sven Goran-Eriksson became the latest manager linked with the Ivory Coast job.

Huh saw his side beat the Elephants 2-0 at Loftus Road in an entertaining international friendly as both sides gained valuable experience prior to the finals in South Africa.

But Ivory Coast – under the guidance of acting coach Kouadio Georges – must first choose a manager to replace Vahid Halihodzic, who was sacked last month after a disappointing campaign in the African Nations Cup.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Former England manager Eriksson was the star attraction in a directors' box which also included Ciro Ferrarra, Dunga, Mick McCarthy, Peter Reid and Brian Laws to spark rumours he may take on the task of guiding the Coast through the finals – though Guus Hiddink remains the favourite.

Georges declined to speak to the media after his side's defeat which came courtesy of goals from Lee Dong-gook and substitute Kwak Tae-hwi.

Huh said: "We played very well and it is a good win for us but there is a lot of work still to do before the World Cup.

"We are not meeting again until May now but I will give the players homework to do on our opponents.

"I want them to study videos of the teams we shall be playing as they all need to improve before we go to South Africa.

"The players who play in Europe lead this team and you saw that out there.

"They have more experience and quality but we attack and defend as a team and we deserved to win."

Korea must overcome Argentina, Nigeria and Greece if they are to progress from Group B in South Africa and while a repeat of the run to the semi-finals they achieved on home soil under Hiddink eight years ago looks unlikely, they showed enough to suggest they are capable of qualifying for the second round at least.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Manchester United winger Park Ji-Sung was excellent throughout as the Koreans counter-attacked swiftly to cause Ivory Coast problems.

Huh said: "This game was excellent practice for us before the World Cup. We have to play Nigeria and while their style is not exactly the same, Ivory Coast are another African team and it was important for us to come up against a team like that before we go to South Africa.

"Ivory Coast played well and caused us a lot of problems but we adapted well. I expect them to be strong in the summer – though they have a very tough group.

"Of course it will be tough for us in the World Cup but we have confidence that we can perform and are looking forward to the challenge."