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Brazil v Ivory Coast

North Korea aiming high against Brazil

June 14, 2010
By Soccernet staff

North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun is aiming high when he comes up against Brazil on Tuesday, claiming his side can pull off a shock.

Kim Jong-Hun
GettyImagesKim Jong-Hun: Thinking big

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North Korea are massive underdogs in the Group G 'Group of Death' that also contains Portugal and Ivory Coast, but Kim thinks that, despite the negative perception of his side, they can spring a few surprises at this year's event.

"Our Group G opponents are very strong," Kim told the official FIFA website. "But in football, the best teams don't necessarily win. We will give it our best. We know we need to win to reach the knockout phase, so no matter who we're up against, we'll target the three points."

With that in mind, the Koreans have shown that they have defence as their main priority in some of their warm-up games, but the coach insists they do not always play the same way.

"Our rivals are expecting to see us focus on defence because we actually played quite defensively during qualification," he said. "But our game is not all about playing cautiously - we can also play good attacking football when we need to."

Asked how his team - ranked 85th in the world - could possibly overcome No. 1 ranked Brazil, the coach said: ''Our players are very qualified, they are very talented and they don't fall behind any other players in the world.

''Their talent and quality will be shown tomorrow and this will bring great happiness to our leader Kim Jong-Il and show that people of Korea DPR have a strong mentality. Of course Brazil are a strong team, they are a perennial favourite. But we have a strong mentality and that is why I think we will prevail.''

Captain Hong Yong-Jo added that, if the side play to their strengths, they can upset the champions of 2002.

"Brazil are indeed a stronger team than us, but we can use our tactics to counter them," said Hong, who finished as his side's joint leading scorer in qualifying. "You never know what will happen until the match is over. I have set a personal goal for myself, which is to motivate my team-mates and help my country reach the last 16."