By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will bank on their teamwork against the highly skilled French team to kick off the FIFA U-20 World Cup, head coach Kim Eun-jung said on the eve of the match in Argentina.
"France feature players with great individual skills and strong physique," Kim said in an interview clip shared by the Korea Football Association (KFA) on Monday. The opening Group F match between the two sides starts at 3 p.m. Monday in Mendoza, Argentina, or 3 a.m. Tuesday in Seoul.
"We'll counter with teamwork, with players helping out each other on defense and making sure we are quick in transition," Kim added. "If we can execute those plans, we should have good results in the end."
There are six groups of four in the competition. The top two nations from each group, plus four best third-place teams, will reach the knockout stage.
South Korea will later take on Honduras and Gambia, and France are considered the favorites to win Group F.
Kim called on his players not to back down against any opponent.
"We've played a few friendly matches against European teams," Kim said. "France may be a powerful team but I hope our players just play their game and show what they're capable of, without feeling nervous."
Forward Park Seung-ho said he will try to exploit the French defense with speed.
"They tend to be a bit slow in transition, and their defenders make simple plays," Park said. "We will try to take advantage of space behind those defenders."
Defender Hwang In-taek said he expects to have his hands full against France.
"I am going to stay on my toes and think a few steps ahead to keep those skilled forwards in check," Hwang said. "I will do everything I can to make winning plays."