North Koreans not dwelling on debacle
Local coach says World Cup team has made good impression to fans at home
Soccer players in North Korea have shrugged off their country's 7-0 loss to Portugal at the World Cup.
Players with the local Kigwancha team watched the match live on state television on Monday night but didn't seem discouraged by the devastating defeat.
"As a fellow football player I am disappointed and embarrassed at the team having lost so many goals," Kigwancha winger Son Chung Il said Tuesday during training at a local stadium, according to video footage from TV news agency APTN in Pyongyang.
Son, however, said he was not discouraged.
"We'll concentrate our efforts to develop our skills, and if we have another chance to play Portugal in future, we'll try to beat them," he said.
Coach Kim Sang Chol said he also wasn't upset by the loss.
"The Korean team is in the World Cup for the first time after 44 years away," he said. "In spite of losing the game, our team has made a good impression to football fans at home."
North Korea has a team at the World Cup for the first time since 1966, when it surprisingly beat Italy 1-0 to become the first Asian nation to reach the quarter-finals. Portugal ended North Korea's fairy-tale run with a 5-3 victory after having trailed 3-0.
North Korean state television aired rare full live coverage of Monday's match during prime time, marking a first for a North Korean soccer game taking place abroad.
North Korea will compete in its final World Cup game against the Ivory Coast on Friday.