South Korea coach Huh Jung-moo has warned his players to erase all memory of their Argentine nightmare and punish Nigeria in their final group B to move to the next round on Tuesday.
The Koreans, semi-finalists in 2002 on home soil, were outclassed for long spells of Thursdayâ€™s match and while they missed a glorious opportunity to tie the game at 2-2 Argentina were eventually good value for the 4-1 win.
Huh, who as a player lost 3-1 to Argentina at the 1986 World Cup, said Thursdayâ€™s three-goal deficit meant nothing and that his team were moving in the right direction.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter whether it was 4-1 or 3-1 … our players fought very hard and while we conceded one more goal than in 1986 our general play was better than back then,â€ said Huh.
â€œThe final group game against Nigeria is going to determine whether we get into the last 16 or not so weâ€™ll go away, analyse our performance and be thoroughly prepared.
â€œWe must consign the Argentina game to the past and prepare ourselves for the last group game. We have won one game and need victory to progress to the next round. I am pleased with the mentality of my players and they are ready to make amends against Nigeria to move aheadâ€, he said.
South Korea striker Lee Chung-yong gave his side a lifeline at the end of the first half against Argentina with a well-taken goal, but he was in no mood to celebrate.
â€œItâ€™s not important,â€ he said of his first World Cup finals goal. â€œWe lost to Argentina but thereâ€™s no huge obstacle to get to the last 16. Weâ€™re going to forget about the loss and get ready for Nigeria.â€