Nothing can separate Uruguay and South Korea in their World Cup opener in Group H despite plenty of attacking quality on display in Qatar.
In front of a lively crowd at the Education City Stadium, the South Koreans frustrated Uruguay but did not create many clear-cut chances.
Their best came from Hwang Ui-jo, who fired over the bar in the first half, before Uruguay captain Diego Godin headed a corner against the post.
Hwang then stood with his head in his hands as his teammates fell to their knees in disbelief, all in front of a group of South Korean fans behind the goal, who sang beautifully.
South Korea controlled most of the first half, but Uruguay began to dominate as the game wore on and almost won in the final minute of normal time when Federico Valverde’s long-range effort crashed off the post.
There was one last chance for Tottenham striker Son Heung-min – South Korea’s star man – but he put the shot wide, to the relief of the Uruguayan supporters.
The draw leaves Group H wide open in what many see as a three-way battle to qualify for the knockout stages between Uruguay, South Korea and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Son and Nunez missed chances in the match
The atmosphere around the stadium was quite low beforehand, but after kick-off the noise of hundreds of South Korean fans was relentless in one corner.
It was their players who took control of the game in the first half, playing good creative football and testing the Uruguayan defense from wide areas.
Son was often isolated on the wing, but when he had the chance to run into space, he beat two players and delivered a dangerous cross.
He also found himself on the edge of the box in the second half, but Uruguayan Jose Gimenez made a decisive sliding challenge to deny the shot.
Son was only an occasional threat, but the crowd often rose to their voices as they rose in anticipation of what he could produce – and it almost came as no surprise when he unleashed an effort in the closing moments.
Uruguay’s game plan was clear. They looked to play over the South Korean defense at every opportunity, with Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez a threat on the counter-attack with his pace.
Real Madrid’s Valverde almost got on the end of a long ball from Gimenez, and Nunez should have connected with a cross from the right.
As the game wore on, Uruguay became more dangerous – Nunez broke down the left but failed to find a team-mate, before coach Diego Alonso used his wild card to bring on former Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani.
Cavani was alive, almost connecting on Nunez’s shot that went wide of the post, but the South Korean defense held firm for a point that could have been vital in a competitive Group H.
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Rating range key = Give it to me = Pure perfection
- 23The ratchet
- 22CaceresBooked in 57 minutes
- 2by gimen
- 16Oliverareplaced bythe vineyardin 79′minutes
- 5Neighborreplaced byfrom the crossin 78′minutes
- 8Pellistrireplaced byVarelain 88′minutes
- 9Suarezreplaced byCavaniin 64′minutes
- 7from the cross
- 10from Arrascas
- 14the little tower
- 17the vineyard
- 1Kim Seung-gyu
- 19Kim Young-Gwon
- 5Jung Woo-Young
- 17alreadyreplaced byLeein 75′minutes
- 10Lee Jae-Sungreplaced bySonin 75′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 16Hwangreplaced bygivein 74′minutesBooked in 88 minutes
- 11Hwang Hee-Chan
- 12the song
- 14Hong Chul
- 21Cho Hyun-Woo
- 26the song
- Clement Turpin
Game over, Uruguay 0, Republic of Korea 0.
Second half ends, Uruguay 0, Korea Republic 0.
Guillermo Varela’s foul (Uruguay).
Kim Jin-Su (Republic of Korea) wins the free kick.
Corner, Uruguay. Kim Moon-Hwan scores a basket.
Matthias Viña’s foul (Uruguay).
Lee Kang-In (Republic of Korea) wins a free kick.
An empty attempt. Hwang In-Beom (Republic of Korea) left footed shot misses the target. Assisted by Lee Kang-In.
An empty attempt. Son Heung-Min (Korea Republic) left footed shot misses the target. Assisted by Hwang In-Beom.
Federico Valverde (Uruguay) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box.
Cho Gue-Sung (Republic of Korea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
José Giménez (Uruguay) wins a free kick in defence.
Cho Gue-Sung (Korea Republic) is fouled.
Substitute, in Uruguay. William Varela has replaced Facundo Pellistri.
An empty attempt. Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) header from the center of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Rodrigo Bentancur with a cross.
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) wins a free kick.
Hwang In-Beom (Korea Republic) is missing.
An empty attempt. Darwin Núñez (Uruguay) right footed shot misses to the right. Assist: Edinson Cavani.
Diego Godín (Uruguay) wins a free kick.
Cho Gue-Sung (Korea Republic) is fouled.
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