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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Klinsmann takes blame but won’t resign after South Korea exit


AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Jürgen Klinsmann has accepted responsibility as coach for South Korea‘s Asian Cup semifinal elimination at the hands of Jordan but said he has no plans to resign.

The former Germany and United States coach said that he was angry after the Taeguk Warriors were beaten 2-0 by Jordan at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday evening, saying that they were deserved winners.

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“A coach is always responsible for how a tournament goes for a team. Absolutely. Our goal was to get into the final and we didn’t get into the final,” he said.

“You have to accept it, you accept the result like this. It happens because Jordan today deserved that result.”

However Klinsmann, a divisive figure in Korea ever since he was appointed to lead a group widely considered to be a golden generation just under a year ago, batted away a question over whether he planned to resign.

“I’m not planning to do anything,” he said. “I’m planning to analyse this tournament, to go with the team back to Korea and then talk to the federation about what was good and what was not so good in that tournament.

“I think there was a lot of good stuff that we saw. There’s a team that is growing, a team that still has to develop towards the World Cup in the U.S., Mexico and Canada over the next few years, with a very difficult qualifying campaign. So there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”

Second-half goals to Yazan Al-Naimat and Musa Al-Tamari lifted The Chivalrous Ones to a famous win in Al Rayyan, securing the Middle Eastern nation a berth in its first-ever Asian Cup final.

Despite only having 30% of possession and entering their opponent’s penalty area 16 times compared to South Korea’s 36, Jordan still outshot Korea 17 to eight, with seven shots on target compared to Korea’s none and ended with 1.7 expected goals (xG) compared to 0.82.

His team soundly beaten, Klinsmann was pictured smiling as he congratulated Jordanian coach Hussein Ammouta in the aftermath of the contest, drawing the ire of Korean fans and journalists, especially in contrast to several Korean players in tears on the pitch.

“I am very disappointed. I’m angry because we should have done better,” Klinsmann responded.

“When a game is over, and I congratulate another coach and smile just because I’m personally congratulating him, I think that’s not a big deal.

“I’m certainly not walking around tonight here and smiling over the place.

“There were reasons why we lost this game. And you have to accept those reasons. The other team showed more on the field, we say then you have to give them respect.”

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