DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Ghana coach Otto Addo has been impressed with Son Heung-min since he coached the South Korean forward at youth level.
The two will meet on Monday when Ghana takes on South Korea in a World Cup. Group H match at the Education City Stadium in Qatar.
Atto was working for Hamburg in Germany when he met Son, whom he recommended for the club’s first team.
“He is very, very disciplined. So he got so good because he worked hard for it. This is what he expected, and he expected it,” Addo said on Sunday before the game.
Addo added with a smile: “I always wish him all the best, except tomorrow.”
Son and the South Koreans challenged Uruguay in their tough opening game of Group H and finished with a 0-0 draw.
“In terms of offense, we performed very well,” South Korea coach Paulo Bento said through a translator. “We are a brave team, we are not afraid of our rivals.”
Son epitomized that bravery, wearing a mask to protect his broken left eye socket and being cheered on by fans wearing Batman masks. He was injured on November 2 in a Champions League game against Marseille that limited his training in the run-up to the World Cup.
Addo, who played for Ghana, is one of the five African coaches leading the five African teams at the World Cup in Qatar. He joins Cameroonian Rigobert Song, Senegalese Aliou Cisse, Moroccan Walid Regragui and Tunisian head coach Jalel Kadri.
“I think this is a big step for Africa. In the previous years, there were not so many coaches, so it is a big task for Africa to develop more coaches, not only to coach African teams, but also to coach other teams, teams in Europe, and I think the world is missing this. . Addo said.
Ghana heads into Tuesday’s match against South Korea after losing 3-2 to Portugal in their opener. All five African teams were winless in their opening group stage matches, but Tunisia bounced back with a win over Qatar in their second match.
The Black Stars are the youngest team in the World Cup, with an average age of 24 years and four months. So it was heartening that they held their own against Portugal and star Cristiano Ronaldo, whose 65th-minute penalty made him the first men’s player to score in five World Cups.
Addo later called the penalty “a special gift from the referee”. but on Sunday he was eager to get on with it.
“It’s in the past,” he said. “It’s gone. It’s over. We can’t change it.
Veteran captain Andre Ayew and Osman Bukari scored for Ghana against Portugal. Ayew was also on the Ghanaian team that reached the quarterfinals at the 2010 World Cup. Ghana were knocked out in the group stage at the 2014 tournament and missed out on Russia in 2018.
With the victory, Portugal led Group H heading into the second round of group stage matches. Ghana sits at the bottom of the table and would be eliminated if they lose to South Korea.
South Korea was making its sixth consecutive World Cup appearance. The team lost to Turkey in the match for third place as co-hosts at the 2002 World Cup.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports