AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Another favorite team failed to impress in the early stages of the World Cup.
This time it was South Korea who defeated South American rulers Uruguay with a 0-0 draw on Thursday, a result likely to favor the Asian side.
The draw at Education City Stadium was another early World Cup game with a surprising result. Argentina and Germany both lost their opening games in big upsets. This indicated to be someone else.
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso expressed his satisfaction, as did his South Korean counterpart Paulo Bento. Alonso sounded less convincing.
“I’m more than happy with the result,” said Alonso. “I’m sure this group stage will be decided by the last game. We all know that the second game is crucial and so is the third. But that doesn’t affect whether we qualify or not.”
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Next, Uruguay meet Portugal in Group H, while South Korea take on Ghana. Both games take place on Monday. The top two teams in the group advance to the round of 16.
South Korea, with striker Son Heung-min wearing a mask to protect a fractured left eye socket, always looked set to score against the more experienced Uruguayans. The South Koreans were quicker and pushed from the start.
Many South Korean fans wore Batman-like masks in solidarity with Son, who was injured in a Champions League game for English club Tottenham on November 2. He had some early chances but seemed to tire in the second half.
“He (son) had a serious injury,” Bento said. “He’s been inactive for a long time. He was only able to return to the team in the last few days. And of course, after an injury, it’s natural that it takes some time to adjust. But I think we had a good time overall.” Performance.”
In a game with few clear scoring chances and South Korea often in control, Uruguay had the best scoring chances: Diego Godin hit the post with a header in the 43rd minute and Federico Valverde hit him in the 89th minute.
Alonso started an attacking line-up with Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez and Facundo Pellistri up front and Valverde and Matias Vecino in midfield. But they rarely had the ball at the start.
South Korea pushed forward early and Son delighted the crowd every time he touched the ball, but he managed only one dangerous attack in the first half. South Korea always looked faster than Uruguay, but not necessarily more dangerous. The team’s best chance came in the 34th minute, when Hwang Ui-jo’s close-range shot sailed over the bar.
As the second half progressed, Uruguay gained more possession but always appeared cautious and lacked initiative despite the more experienced players.
Son went down in a heap early in the second half when Martin Caceres received the game’s first yellow card.
Alonso sent on Edinson Cavani for Suarez in the 64th minute as the pace of play slowed until Valverde hit the post in the final minutes.
“We struggled against Korea in the first 20 minutes,” said Alonso. “We couldn’t take the ball from them. We didn’t get any pressure and lost precision.
“Obviously we dominated the second half a lot more. We were better than them I think but we lacked a bit of attacking. I mean attacking more. We also tried to be more competitive.”
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https://abc7.com/world-cup-south-korea-uruguay-soccer/12490353/ South Korea held Uruguay 0-0 at the World Cup