Chinese Taipei head coach Kazuo Kuroda praised his players following their 2-0 defeat to DPR Korea in the opening match of the EAFF E-1 Football Championship Men’s Round 2 on Sunday afternoon in Hong Kong.
The Japanese coach, who previously ran the country’s youth program, had just four days to prepare for the regional tournament after being appointed to the role by the CTFA on Wednesday.
“I’m satisfied with the result of the match; the players did a good job but in the end we lacked the endurance needed to keep up,” Kuroda said after the match. “I wanted us to equalise while we were still trailing by just one goal.
“I think our attacking power is improving because four of our players have experience playing in China and brought that to the squad.”
Chinese Taipei will have an uphill battle when they face hosts Hong Kong, who narrowly won their opening match 3-2 against Guam, on Tuesday.
“I know they’re a good team, and it will be important to recover our physical strength,” Kuroda added. “Our players learned many things on both sides of the ball today and we’d like to improve before our next match.”
DPR Korea manager Jorn Andersen did not appear at the post-match press conference after he was ejected late in the second half for arguing with the officials; a member of his coaching staff commented in his stead: “We don’t have anything to say about our next match (against Guam); we just want to continue winning. It’s that simple.”