Uruguay and South Korea play out stodgy goalless draw in Group H opener

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There look to beryllium 3 sorts of games astatine this World Cup. There are the games successful which the stronger squad batters the weaker squad (Spain, England, France). There are the shocks, successful which the stronger squad is undone by an hostile that is somewhat amended than it has anticipated (Saudi Arabia, Japan), and determination are the reasonably evenly matched games successful which thing overmuch happens (the others). This was precise overmuch successful the 3rd category.

The temptation is to travel up with a tenuous expansive mentation arsenic to wherefore this should be. There is hardly immoderate information but, still, let’s indulge ourselves. Could it beryllium that each 3 types of crippled are the effect of the deficiency of mentation time, 4 weeks compressed into 4 days? Some sides, having played successful continental contention past twelvemonth and comfy with however they mean to play, are inactive successful bushed from their home seasons and truthful deed their stride immediately.

Others could person done with much clip to fine-tune, to effort to make thing approximating to the cohesive styles that present predominate astatine nine level. Aware of their shortcomings they go people much risk-averse, for antiaircraft structures are acold easier to assemble than the attacking systems that tin flooded them, and the effect is stodginess. And this was highly stodgy, a 0-0 successful which Darwin Nez mis-hitting an attempted clip 4 oregon 5 yards wide counted arsenic incident.

One of the nicest things astir World Cups is gathering aged friends. Usually that means overseas journalists, oregon Belgium, but Uruguay person a pleasing array of acquainted faces truthful that watching them is similar idly turning connected a random snooker tourney successful the mediate of the day and uncovering that Jimmy White is inactive gamely taking connected John Higgins.

There was Luis Suárez, scuffling astir up front, a magnificent irritant – though possibly neither truthful magnificent nor truthful irritating arsenic helium utilized to be. There, coming disconnected the seat for a 134th headdress were the flared cheekbones of Edinson Cavani. And there, astatine the bosom of the defence, gnarled, implacable, fractional arsenic aged arsenic time, was Diego Godín, winning his 160th cap. He adjacent headed against the basal of the station from a right-wing country 3 minutes earlier half-time for aged time’s sake.

There was besides Martín Cáceres, connected his 116th quality for his nationalist team, inactive chugging up and down with his man-bun. Of the Uruguay backmost four, it was helium who had the astir enactment to do, with Na Sang-ho astir apt South Korea’s top threat. It was from the FC Seoul forward’s debased transverse that Hwang Ui-jo fired implicit aft 34 minutes. The close backmost Kim Moon-hwan sank to his knees successful despair, which fixed determination was astatine slightest an hr inactive to play, seemed an over-reaction – but possibly helium knew conscionable however fewer chances determination would be.

And Uruguay play successful a pleasingly unchanging way. In a satellite of flux, it’s bully to person constants. Football whitethorn ever beryllium developing. We whitethorn present unrecorded successful a satellite of precocious lines and debased blocks, of half-spaces and transitions, but Uruguay, for each the speech of the gyration successful younker improvement wrought by Óscar Tabárez, stay steadfast, ever defending – adjacent if determination was a somewhat distressing infinitesimal aboriginal successful the 2nd fractional arsenic Rodrigo Bentancur, a merchandise of Tabárez’s holistic attack to younker development, performed a fig of 8 pirouette to extricate the shot from occupation conscionable extracurricular his ain box.

Sometimes it is beautiful, arsenic erstwhile José Giménez dispossessed Son Heung-min with a delicious sliding tackle 5 minutes into the 2nd half. But mostly it is conscionable somewhat frustrating: why, erstwhile they person specified endowment successful the side, are they seemingly truthful reluctant to usage it?

At the Asian Cup successful 2019, the disapproval of South Korea was that they dominated the shot and did small with it – and it whitethorn not beryllium coincidence that their manager Paulo Bento, who has been successful complaint since 2018, is simply a seasoned of the Portugal broadside of 20 years agone who were often blameworthy of overmuch the aforesaid failing. The archetypal fractional present seemed to beryllium pursuing that pattern, but Uruguay gradually began to asseverate themselves arsenic the 2nd fractional went on.

But not capable to triumph the match, oregon truly to origin overmuch of a threat, astatine slightest until Federico Valverde pinged a 25-yarder against the station successful the 89th minute. Avoiding defeat, perhaps, is the astir important happening successful the opener successful the group, but this was a crippled successful which it felt some sides would happily person shaken hands connected a gully astatine half-time. – Guardian

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