Granqvist seals historic victory for Sweden over South Korea

Berg Bonucci Parolo Italy Sweden

‘Difficult for westerners to distinguish between Asians’ – S. Korea coach on number-switch tactics

South Korea hope to have kept their tactics against Sweden a surprise by swapping shirt numbers in recent training sessions and matches, coach Shin Tae-yong has said.

Subs: Min-Woo Kim (6), Seung-Woo Lee (6), Woo-Young Jung (6). This was South Korea's first loss in their World Cup opener since 1998, reports Yonhap news agency. But against all odds, Jo was the man in net against Sweden, and he proved his worth as the starting goalkeeper.

Both teams' star players provided their creative drive, Son Heung-min trying to drive Korea forward from the left flank but again failing to have the same impact on the worldwide stage as he does in the Premier League. But instead, he showed a stable performance from the start.

"Of course it is a bit different, because when I play at Tottenham, every player is one of the best players", Son said.

Sweden were just about good enough, but it wasn't exactly an inspiring display.

Marcus Berg was alone on goal in the 20th minute but Hyun-woo stuck out a leg and deflected it away.

Shin fielded Jo, the team's third-choice goalkeeper, because he is the tallest of the three keepers and the Koreans wanted to use his height against the Swedes. It was a moment when he lived up to his nickname.

"We were anxious about the height of the players and I think we became a little bit too subdued".

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'The VAR took a while but we are very pleased they had it.

Pontus Jansson, in for illness bug victim Victor Lindelof, also guided a header over the crossbar, as did Viktor Claesson in a frustrating first half for the Blue-Yellow. But Jo wasn't unbreakable on this day.

The 33-year-old team captain scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the second half at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

"I knew he (Granqvist) would kick the ball after checking the direction, but it didn't go well as I planned", he said.

However, Shin Tae-yong also revealed he had taken precautions during training, deliberately making his team wear different numbered shirts in recent friendlies to confuse World Cup opponents who can not tell his players apart.

With the clock ticking down, South Korea were now pushing forward, although there was nothing happening to give Olsen in the Swedish goal and concerns.

Sweden will now go top of the group along with Mexico, who beat reigning world champions Germany 1-0 on Sunday. Instead of playing as a striker in a 4-4-2, as Korea have previously played, Shin fielded Son as a winger in a 4-5-1 which was noted as a 4-3-3 by Federation Internationale de Football Association but much more defensive in reality. We are going to prepare in the best way possible and then we'll see.

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