Final result of the 2022 World Cup: Uruguay and South Korea share the points in the fourth goalless draw in the tournament

Uruguay and South Korea started their World Cup campaigns split points with Qatar’s fourth goalless draw in their first 14 matches.

An interesting if at times low-quality first half provided chances for both sides to take control of the game, Diego Godín coming closer when he cracked the bottom of the post from Federico Valverde’s serve with a header. However, missing him was not the most terrible thing. Hwang Hi-Jo lifted the ball over an open goal after excellent work from Kim Moon-Hwan down the right.

The zip with which the two sides approached the first half did not particularly follow them out of the tunnel after the interval. South Korea began to dominate the competition but could not break down Uruguay’s tenacious defence. Heung-min Son was dismissed just as he was about to pull the trigger by diving Jose Maria Jimenez. Substitute Cho Goo-sung swiveled and fired wide from outside the penalty area with 10 minutes left, but this was a game that quickly dwindled toward a share of the points.

Uruguay largely settled for shooting though Federico Valverde almost made the most of it, hitting the post as time went on. Seven minutes of extra time sounded more like a curse than kindness, before the final whistle blew.

Is Nunez lost on the left?

Speaking before the match, Diego Alonso, the Uruguay national team manager, emphatically emphasized the welcome scale of the dilemma in trying to juggle his many fantastic options together. While it’s a better problem than not having any reputable forwards, the 4-3-3 he used didn’t seem to put his best talents into their best positions, particularly Darwin Nunez.

Although the young striker often played on the left flank for Liverpool, he didn’t look like he had to fall back as he did today, spending much of the first half. It’s not a great sign of the way your team is playing if one of the world’s most expensive and best-known strikers finishes the game with a defensive third like Diego Godín winning the ball back.

When he was able to attack, particularly on the occasions when Matías Oliveira stepped in on the left, he looked out of the way for the Uruguay’s most likely path towards goal. He may have only shot once but it was alluring, curling the ball wide after Edinson Cavani fouled him.

One fine throw down the left saw him wreak havoc on the South Korean backline, but the problem is when cuts came, the Uruguayers were hoping Nunez would pick it up rather than deliver it. Instead, there were precious few options as Luis Suarez always seemed off the pace, failing to score a shot or create a chance for a teammate. That he was always too far off the play was exemplified in his scoring eight touches in his own half and two in the penalty area.

Cavani has offered more of a physical presence than off the bench, but Alonso’s plans must really start with getting Nunez into key positions to make an impact.

South Korea looks well suited to this World Cup

Qatar 2022 is already four times better than Russia 2018 when it comes to producing boring 0-0 draws, don’t rule out South Korea adding one more before this competition is out. This is only a partial criticism because my four banks anchored by Kim Min-jae of Naples won’t collapse so easily…if the opposition can get that far. At the top of the field, the frontlines pressed real hard, regaining ten more possessions in the final third than any team in the World Cup so far.

The problem might be what they do from there. Hwang’s error emerged as a huge mistake, but Paulo Bento’s biggest concern may be how rarely they turn high balls into real chances. Only in flashes did Son look like the player who has terrorized Premier League defenses for years on end. This may be due to the facial injury that forced him to wear a mask in this tournament, but it should be noted that he had been struggling with consistency at Tottenham even before undergoing surgery on the bone around his eye. If he can’t deliver moments of magic, then goals may not come as frequently in the next two matches involving South Korea.


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