Korea Won't Settle for Draw Against Gabon, Football Coach Vows

Hong Myung-bo Hong Myung-bo

The Korean Olympic football team will face Gabon in the final match of Group B at 1 a.m. on Thursday (Korean time) at Wembley Stadium in northwest London.

Although Gabon is sitting at the bottom of the group with one loss and one draw, it still has plenty of fight left. It lost to Mexico 0-2 in Coventry on Sunday, but advanced to the London Olympics with the best record from Africa. As it can still qualify for the quarterfinals if it beats Korea, it is expected to come out swinging and attack aggressively.

The team, which also drew with Switzerland, has been notable for its inconsistency so far in London. The Gabonese players are strong and resilient, but have missed a lot of goal-scoring chances due to poor tactics and a lack of accuracy and precision.

Gabon maintained almost the same starting roster for its first two games, changing only Axel Meye. In both matches, St Etienne striker Pierre Aubameyang showed he's a force to be reckoned with courtesy of his sharp shooting and aerial abilities. He was supported by midfielders Alexander Ndoumbou (Marseilles), Jerry Obiang and Levy Madinda.

Gabon is at a slight disadvantage in London as two of its key players are absent. Bruno Ecuele failed to join the team at the last minute after his club, FC Lorent, refused to let him go, and Emmanuel Ndong was left out due to injury.

Korean manager Hong Myung-bo said his side would also come out with all guns blazing as it goes for a win. "We aren't going to approach this game passively, assuming that we can qualify for the quarterfinals with a draw."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 31, 2012 11:03 KST