Federico Valverde came closest with a late drive as Uruguay and South Korea played out a drab goalless draw in World Cup Group H.
Son Heung-min’s inclusion failed to inspire South Korea as his side played out a disappointing 0-0 draw with Uruguay in World Cup Group H.
Son’s participation was in doubt in the build-up after the Tottenham striker fractured his eye socket in the Champions League clash with Marseille on November 1.
He was declared fit, aided by a mask, but a couple of nice touches from the side didn’t influence the game as much as coach Paulo Bento would have liked – and it could have been a lot worse for the Asian side had Federico Valverde’s late pilot come into play. rather than rattling the post.
Valverde’s effort was a rare moment of inspiration for Uruguay as Darwin Nunez and Luis Suarez toiled with both teams adopting a first-team approach as they feared losing the opener and putting their qualification hopes at risk.
South Korea’s best chance came from Hwang Ui-jo, who fired over the bar from eight yards after 34 minutes, while Diego Godin also hit the woodwork for Uruguay.
A long ball from the left side of the defense to the right wing appeared to be Uruguay’s biggest attacking weapon in the early stages, creating two chances within three minutes.
From the first, Valverde took Jose Gimenez’s pass and fired a left-footed shot over the top and shortly afterwards Gimenez nodded another pass back across goal for Facundo Pellistri, but Nunez missed his shot from six yards.
South Korea was neat and hard-working but lacked edge. And when they carved an opening, it was immediately wasted, Hwang missing the target after Kim Moon-hwan ran down the right.
The best chance of the opening half came on 43 minutes when Godin rose highest after Valverde’s corner but placed a header into the left-hand post and beat Korea goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu.
The second period lacked attacking cohesion, although the few chances they created fell to Uruguay.
Nunez saw a low cross intended for Suarez palmed away by Kim Seung-gyu, substitute Edinson Cavani had a shot blocked by Kim Min-jae’s sliding challenge, while Nunez curled an effort wide after 10 minutes. box.
The best moment came in the last minute of normal time, but Valverde lined up from 30 yards and hit his shot against the woodwork.