Ex-nat’l football coach Bento to leave S. Korea on Tuesday

SEOUL– After a four-year tenure with South Korea that included a trip to the knockout stage at the ongoing FIFA World Cup, Paulo Bento will leave his adopted country on Tuesday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) announced Monday that Bento will fly out of South Korea Tuesday night, officially ending his four-plus years in charge of the Taegeuk Warriors. The KFA said Bento is not scheduled to speak with media at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul.
Earlier this month, the 53-year-old native of Portugal coached South Korea to the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar, for the country’s third appearance in the knockouts. They began the tournament with a goalless draw against Uruguay and then suffered a 3-2 loss to Ghana. Bento’s team then rallied for a dramatic 2-1 win over Portugal, which, combined with a 2-0 win by Uruguay over Ghana, sent South Korea into the last 16 on a tiebreaker.

South Korea fell to world No. 1 Brazil 4-1 in the round of 16 last Monday but still returned home two days later to a hero’s welcome.

Bento’s contract expired after the end of South Korea’s World Cup, and he announced in the immediate aftermath that he had made up his mind in September not to re-sign with the team after the World Cup.

Bento was named South Korea’s bench boss in August 2018, and he was the longest-serving head coach in national team history.

He was largely credited with instilling stability and structure within the team, the missing ingredients from the two previous World Cups when South Korea had undergone last-minute coaching changes.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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