Uruguay and South Korea unable to separated in drab goalless draw

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Uruguay and South Korea unable to separated in drab goalless draw
Updated
Uruguay and South Korea have both been unable to snatch the momentum in the game
Uruguay and South Korea have both been unable to snatch the momentum in the game
AFP, StatsPerform
Despite hitting the post in either half, Uruguay had to settle for a point against a stubborn South Korea in Group H as the sides played out a 0-0 draw at Education City Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Full Time: Uruguay 0 South Korea 0

Both Diego Godin and Fede Valverde hit the post for Uruguay at the end of each half in a game devoid of much action. For South Korea, their best chance came from Hwang Ui-Jo in the first half, but he could only fire over from close range. Read our full report - written by James Hilsum - and check out all the match stats now.

Full time stats
StatsPerform

Second Half

15:50 CET: Another long range effort - this time from Hwang - but this one is even wider. It all feels a bit desperate out there.

15:48 CET: Seven minutes of added time. Will we have late drama?

15:47 CET: OFF THE POST! Fede Valverde, like most people who have watched this game, seems frustrated, so decides to lash a strike at goal from all of 30 yards, striking the upright. At the other end soon after, Son does a similar thing, but his shot is wide of the mark.

15:45 CET: A fourth substitute for Uruguay - Guillermo Varela comes on in place of Facundo Pellistri.

15:42 CET: Five minutes left of the 90 - will anyone show some class to win this one?

15:38 CET: Darwin Nunez shows some quality - rare to this game - cutting inside and firing a curled effort that just goes the wrong side of the post. Very close to the opener.

15:36 CET: Two changes with 10 minutes to go for Uruguay. Mathias Olivera departs for Matias Vina and Nicolas de la Cruz is on for Matias Vecino.

15:34 CET: For the first time in quite some, we have had an effort on goal. Substitute Cho Gue-Sung wraps his left foot around an effort but drags it wide. That was the 11th attempt on goal from both sides, South Korea yet to register a shot on goal.

15:31 CET: Are they following the coverage? Moments later, they make a double change. Son Jun-Ho and Lee Kang-In are on for Lee Jae-Sung and Na Sang-Ho.

15:30 CET: Unlike most teams so far in this tournament, South Korea are yet to make a change to their starting line-up. Could it be time to see Wolves' forward Hwang Hee-Chan?

15:25 CET: About a quarter of the game to go and momentum has been evenly split throughout. Can someone grab this game before the end?

Game momentum
StatsPerform

15:21 CET: Luis Suarez, who has been largely anonymous, is off for for another legendary striker, Edinson Cavani.

15:19 CET: South Korea continue to look more threatening and they have been trying to find their striker through crosses. So far, nothing working and given the centre backs for Uruguay, it seems it will continue to be a difficult task. At the other end, Darwin Nunez is far and away the most dangerous player in a celeste shirt. He skips past a defender and forces a save out of the keeper.

15:13 CET: Caceres and Son at it again as the defender goes in hard on the Spurs winger from behind, even removing his boot in the process. Son stays down, which will be a huge worry for all who support South Korea. Caceres picks up a yellow card for the challenge and Son looks ok to continue. We will keep an eye out on that duel in the second half.

15:10 CET: However, from a corner from Son sees a penalty claim from South Korea after a push in the box. However, VAR checks the incident and decides no action necesary. Play on.

15:07 CET: The second half has started the same as the first with both sides struggling to threaten. So far, Martin Caceres, at his fourth tournament for Uruguay, has done a good job in keeping Son Heung-Min quiet on the wing.

15:02 CET: Uruguay kick us off in the second period.

Half Time

14:47 CET: One big chance for either side in the first half but the game remains goalless in what has been a largely pragmatic game. Here are the match stats from the first half. 

First half stats
StatsPerform

First Half

14:42 CET: Luis Suarez is denied a shot by the South Korean defence, but it brings the defence forward for a corner. Godin then rises highest to head the ball against the inside the post and it bounces to safety. The closest either side have come to breaking the deadlock.

14:37 CET: Seven minutes to go before the break and it's been scrappy. No side have created anything of note after Hwag Ui-Jo's miss. The Koreans are in the ascendency, but they are unable to really threaten the Uruguay goal.

14:34 CET: Big chance! South Korea finally get a shot away and really, it should be a goal. Hwang Ui-Jo receives the ball on the penalty spot and with all of the goal to aim at, can only fire over. 

14:31 CET: Just two goal attempts - both from Uruguay - in the first 30 minutes of the game. It's safe to say this has not really got going yet.

14:27 CET: They nearly show that potency as Darwin Nunez escapes down the left side only for goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu gets out well to smother the ball and clear it away.

14:22 CET: Uruguay's strengths certainly lies in its attacking threat and they nearly set Luis Suarez through, but he can't gather the ball in time. There feels like there will be goals in this game.

14:19 CET: Fede Valverde has been one of the brightest players in LaLiga this season with Real Madrid, and he shows why here, breaking into the box and getting away a shot that looks to be on target only for it to be deflected over.

14:16 CET: South Korea left back Kim Jin-Su does really well to chase what seems like a lost ball, only to find a cross. It just goes over the bar from a tight angle, but is a great inkling of how hard this team is willing to work for the cause.

14:13 CET: Vecino finds himself furthest forward for Uruguay and nearly gets onto a through ball from Luis Suarez, but he can't quite catch up with the ball and the keeper sweeps up. A hint of the danger the South Americans can provide here.

14:09 CET: A good battle to watch at set plays in between Kin Min-Jae of Napoli and the wily veteran Diego Godin. They are having a tussle from a corner, that is eventually clear. It is fair to say that the South Koreans have the speed advantage throughout their team, given the amount of mid-30s players Uruguay have in their line-up.

14:04 CET: Early pressure from the South Koreans, who earn an early free kick after a foul from Vecino. Son is obviously the standout player for them and he is the third player in the tournament to sport a protective mask - meaning the compulsory Batman joke gets another airing.

14:00 CET: South Korea get this one going.

Pre-match

13:54 CET: Time for the anthems.

13:50 CET: Both teams are in the tunnel ahead of the second game of the day, and our live audio commentary starts in a few minutes. 

Team News

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min will spearhead the attack for South Korea in their opening World Cup match against Uruguay on Thursday, while the South American side start with Manchester United's Facundo Pellistri in a three-man front line.

Son is expected to play in a protective mask after sustaining multiple fractures around his left eye three weeks ago, joining an attack with Na Sang-ho, Lee Jae-sung, with Hwang Ui-jo of Olympiakos a lone striker.

Pellistri will team up with veteran striker Luis Suarez and Liverpool's Darwin Nunez, who makes his World Cup debut, while Real Madrid's Federico Valverde joins Matias Vecino and Rodrigo Bentancur in the midfield.

Barcelona's Ronald Araujo was not among the substitutes, as he continues his recovery after thigh surgery in September, while veteran forward Edinson Cavani is on the bench.

Uruguay: Sergio Rochet, Martin Caceres, Diego Godin, Jose Maria Gimenez, Mathias Olivera, Rodrigo Bentancur, Facundo Pellistri, Matias Vecino, Federico Valverde, Luis Suarez, Darwin Nunez

South Korea: Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Moon-hwan, Kim Min-jae, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Jin-su, Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom, Lee Jae-sung, Na Sang-ho, Hwang Ui-jo, Son Heung-min

Introduction

The original World Cup champions from 1930 get their campaign started to day with a team of youth and experience - the likes of Darwin Nunez and Fede Valverde set to take centre stage.

For South Korea, they will be hoping for a performance from Son Heung-min, who will be playing with a protective mask after fracturing his eye socket weeks before the World Cup.