Uruguay, South Korea ends in stalemate
Uruguay and South Korea played out a tight, tense stalemate as both teams were happy to play for a draw in their Group H opener.
However, South Korea will probably be happier with the point than Uruguay.
The first half was lively as Ui-Jo Hwang fired over from a good position in the box, while at the other end veteran defender Diego Godin saw his brilliant header hit the post.
In the second half neither team did enough to win the game as Darwin Nunez fired wide but other stars like Edinson Cavani, Heung-min Son and Luis Suarez couldn’t impact the game.
Late on Federico Valverde smashed the post with an incredible strike from distance and Heung-min Son fired just wide, but that was as close as either team came to winning the game.
Uruguay face Portugal next in Group H, while South Korea face Ghana.
Superstars strikers had to feed off scraps
There were very few chances in this game as Suarez, Nunez, Cavani and Son all had very little service in the final third. Actually, according to FIFA’s stats there were no shots on target in this game which is a new record for a World Cup game in this century. This was a midfield battle and both teams will be happy enough with a point as they face Portugal and Ghana in their final two Group H games. It wasn’t that there was a lack of quality to create chances but more that it was just so evenly-matched across the whole pitch. We knew Group H would be tight before the action kicked off and now we know it will be even tighter than expected.
Stars of the show
Rodrigo Bentancur: Brilliant display in midfield as he tried to drive Uruguay forward and did so much defensive work.
Moon-Hwan Kim: Worked so hard at right back and had to cover Darwin Nunez he kept floating over to that side of the pitch. A key part of a valiant effort from the entire Korean defense.
How to watch Uruguay vs South Korea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 8am ET, Thursday (November 24)Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al RayyanTV channels en Español: TelemundoStreaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Diego Godin hits the post with a header and both teams have had big chances to score in the first half!
Key storylines, players to watch closely
For Uruguay, they’ve reached the knockout rounds in each of the last three tournaments but were dumped out in the quarterfinals by eventual champs France in 2018. For Suarez, Godin and Cavani, can they all put in one more mammoth effort to drive Uruguay on to the latter stages? The likes of Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde and Darwin Nunez are the new generation set to take center stage in the years to come. With Portugal and Ghana (who badly want revenge for 2010) also in their group, Uruguay will see three points against South Korea as a necessity.
For South Korea it’s all about whether or not Heung-min Son is fit enough to have a big impact in this World Cup. They know Portugal and Uruguay are favored to get out of their group but if this Korean side can stay solid defensively (Napoli’s Kim Min-jae is the leader at the back and is having a great season), they know Son (if fully fit) can win a game in a split-second. That is the hope they are hanging on to as they aim to get out of the group for the first time since 2010.
Uruguay quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 14
World Cup titles: 2 (1930, 1950)
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified from CONMEBOL
Coach: Diego Alonso
Key players: Luis Suarez, Federico Valverde, Darwin Nunez, Rodrigo Bentancur, Edinson Cavani
South Korea quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 28
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Paulo Bento
Key players: Heung-min Son, Young-gwon Kim, In-beom Hwang, Woo-yeong Jeong