South Korea ahead Son Heung-min in motion throughout their FIFA World Cup Group H match in opposition to Uruguay. AP
Doha: The returning Son Heung-min couldn’t encourage South Korea because the Tigers of Asia began their World Cup Group H marketing campaign with a 0-0 draw in opposition to Uruguay in Qatar on Thursday.
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Uruguay captain Diego Godin and Actual Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde got here closest to breaking the impasse when hitting the woodwork in every half, whereas Hwang Ui-jo wasted Korea’s finest likelihood, skying a shot from 10 yards out with solely the goalkeeper to beat.
It was a sport of few possibilities as neither Son on one aspect nor Uruguay’s fearsome strikers Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez and Edinson Cavani may discover a clear opening.
With matches in opposition to Ghana and group favourites Portugal to come back, each side gave the impression to be extra intent on not shedding than pushing for the win on the Schooling Metropolis Stadium in Doha.
Each coaches had been happy with the purpose.
“This was an excellent match from our aspect, we had been higher within the first half, we had many moments the place we managed the match,” mentioned Korea’s Portuguese coach Paulo Bento.
“After half-time we weren’t at our greatest, we suffered a bit as a result of they’re top quality gamers however we additionally did effectively in that state of affairs and conceded little or no.”
Uruguay’s Diego Alonso added: “It was a superb sport, a decent sport with two aggressive nations.
“The primary half, particularly the primary 20 minutes we struggled, we couldn’t get the ball off them.
“However it was good that we had been in a position to alter afterwards and we dominated the second half.”
Son’s struggles ‘pure’
The early a part of the match settled right into a predictable sample as Korea made a quick begin and Uruguay sat deep, absorbing the strain with out giving something away.
Particularly, the South Individuals saved Korean hazard man Son quiet.
Uruguay created the primary clear possibilities as two raking crossfield balls from centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez picked out runners coming in at an angle.
Valverde clipped the primary over the bar, whereas Nunez didn’t make correct contact on the second from simply eight yards out with the purpose at his mercy.
Simply previous the hour mark, Korea ought to have been in entrance after a slick passing transfer opened up the Uruguay defence however unmarked 10 yards out, Hwang fired the ball excessive over the bar.
Godin then went closest to scoring when he hit the within of the submit with a header from Valverde’s outswinging nook.
Neither aspect may get their sport changers into the match, with Son clearly not totally match, enjoying his first match since surgical procedure on a damaged bone round his eye suffered at first of the month in opposition to Marseille within the Champions League.
“He was inactive for a substantial period of time, he may solely reintegrate our group in the previous couple of days,” mentioned Bento of Son’s subdued efficiency.
“It’s pure that after an damage… it’ll take him a while to readapt.”
On the opposite aspect, Suarez, Uruguay’s all-time file goalscorer, was a peripheral determine and was changed by fellow veteran Cavani halfway by the second interval.
Korea more and more appeared to have settled for a degree however coach Paulo Bento introduced on fan-favourite Lee Kang-in to inject some power and guile right into a flagging aspect.
Uruguay, although, remained the extra harmful aspect and Cavani teed up Nunez who fired simply broad.
Korean hearts had been of their mouths when Valverde crashed an extended distance strike off the upright, earlier than Son shot broad up the opposite finish as each side had possibilities to win it in damage time.
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