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Mexico's U-23 boss was clear about his expectations of the group, predicting that "goal difference" might help define who goes on into the knockout rounds.

Mexico U-23 coach Luis Fernando Tena was upbeat after a scoreless draw with South Korea to open El Tri's participation in the Olympic Games, praising his opponent's tough play.

"The team fought hard against a very strong team," Tena said during the post-match press conference. "If anyone thought this would be an easy game they were sorely mistaken. We knew the game was going to play out like this."

South Korea stifled Mexico's attempts to grab hold of possession for large stretches of the match, a fact Tena lamented.

"We attempted to have the ball, we didn't succeed the way we wanted. It was hard for us to have possession and work the ball around, but our attitude was great," said the former Cruz Azul manager.

Tena also forewarned media members that passage into the knockout rounds will not be an easy task.

"Now we have to see what happens with Gabon and Switzerland. Qualifying will be decided in the last minutes [of the last games], calling for time and checking goal differences."

"We are not happy with a draw, we always wanted to win."

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