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Uruguay leverages experience to stifle South Korean energy

Uruguay leverages experience to stifle South Korean energy
Uruguay leverages experience to stifle South Korean energy

AL RAYYAN, Qatar, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Uruguay weathered an energetic first storm from a spirited South Korean side who pressed relentlessly in the opening 15 minutes, calling on all their experience to secure a scoreless draw in the opening Group H of the World Cup. game they should have won.

Kicking off their campaign at Education City Stadium, both sides entered the tournament with strong defensive reputations, but the Uruguayans fared better in solving the South Korean puzzle, hitting the woodwork twice.

The Korean press seemed to pay off at first, but overconfidence in Heung-min Son caused his teammates to seek out their talismanic striker, rather than take a more direct approach when they won the ball high up the pitch.

Once Uruguay got used to the aggressive style of their opponents, they created their first real clean chance when Federico Valverde cushioned a long ball to control it before firing a looping shot high and wide from the aim.

As the Koreans settled into a 4-4-2 formation to save energy, Uruguayan captain Diego Godin began dictating play from his centre-back position in his 160th international game, making long diagonal passes behind Korean full-backs for his teammates. run over it.

Apart from him, Martin Caceres, 35, chained Son, harassing the South Korean winger every time he received the ball and standing close to him to discourage others from passing his way.

Up front Luis Suarez, also a year younger than Godin at 35, tormented the Korean defense with his slanting, spirited runs as he tried to open up space for Uruguay to exploit.

Godin had the best chance of the game in the first half, heading the ball against the foot of a post from a corner, and as the game wore on the South Americans’ accumulated experience began to show.

Edinson Cavani, also 35, replaced Suarez and he posed another set of problems for the South Koreans, pushing them back and limiting them to the odd late counterattack. The Uruguayans almost scored what would have been a deserved late winner when Valverde hit a post.

With a point in the bag and Godin in the groove, they’ll be confident they can repeat that fine performance against Portugal and Ghana – add a few goals and that might just be enough to see them through to the knockout stages.

Reporting by Philip O’Connor Editing by Christian Radnedge

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. Analysis Uruguay leverages sound experience for smother energy south korean

. Uruguay leverages experience stifle South Korean energy

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