2022-11-24 15:06:46

Uruguay flatter to deceive in World Cup stalemate with South Korea

Logo The Independent
The Independent
By Ben Burrows

If this Uruguay 2.0 are to scale the heights of the heroes of old then they will have to find a performance far more worthy of them after opening their World Cup with a hugely disappointing goalless stalemate with South Korea.

Diego Alonsos new La Celeste have tantalised many in the build-up to this tournament with their blend of wise old heads and virulent new blood combining to great effect over the last 12 months, but neither element could make the key contribution here as a resolute Korea more than earned a point to start their own journey in Qatar on a positive note.

Opening games at major tournaments often tempt teams into holding what they have at the risk of losing it all, something we have already seen from the likes of the equally fancied Denmark and Croatia in recent days. But even after getting on the board here, Uruguay will surely rue not emerging from this eminently winnable game against what presents to be one of the weakest of Group H opponents without victory.

Its fair to say South Korea arrived here with tempered expectations but, perhaps buoyed by admirable support from the stands, started the stronger, pressing on to Uruguay and plugging any preferred passing lanes out from the back. Even if very much a group in transition between past and future, this is still a quality Uruguay vintage, though, and they grew into the game with Fede Valverde, so impressive for Real Madrid before the domestic seasons curtain was pulled down, beginning to show his quality. His snap volley after an excellent long ball from Jose Maria Gimenez from the back the first real opening for either side.

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