Brazil vs Serbia Live World Cup Match: Result and Updates

AL RAYYAN, Qatar – Not every World Cup game is a box office hit.

For every attacking explosion (see: England, France, Spain) and every underdog stunner (see: Saudi Arabia, Japan), there are games whose appeal might be more limited to connoisseurs and purists.

Watch the opening match of World Cup Group H on Thursday night as Uruguay and South Korea battled it out to a goalless draw in front of 41,663 fans at Education City Stadium. The teams circled each other in front of a happily humming crowd, assessing each other. But neither delivered a decisive blow.

The fan community is not overwhelmed by the result either. A point each in the opening game, with Portugal awaiting both sides later in the first round, can be a good start to a tournament.

“No team wants to lose points and it was a very calculated game in the end,” said Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. “If you don’t clear it in the first few minutes, it became such a game: physical, hard, little space, few chances.

Uruguay was favoured. It brought an experienced team to Qatar, including Martin Caceres, Diego Godín and Luis Suárez, each of whom featured in four World Cups through their inclusion in the starting line-up. When Edinson Cavani came on in the middle of the second half, he also switched to the four World Cup clubs.

The game was played to the non-stop beat of drums by a small but noisy group of South Korean fans dressed in bright red in one of the corners of the stadium. The Uruguayans regularly interfered from the opposite corner.

Those fans – and any neutral players – faced a restrained tactical battle, with South Korea working fast, crocheting short sequences of passes across the field and side-by-side, and controlling possession until the second half when they took a more defensive perspective. Uruguay, on the other hand, seemed content all night slowing the game, calmly defending in a low block and finding moments to charge the field with their fearsome attackers.

The Koreans’ best scoring chance of the first half came in the 34th minute after they worked the ball alone right in front of Hwang Ui-jo’s goal. But he shot his one-time shot over the bar and could only smile about his mistake.

“We are all human,” said Son Heung-min, South Korea’s captain. “We all make mistakes. Ui-jo from our team is the best striker.”

Uruguay responded in the 43rd minute when Godín fired a header towards goal only to see it slam enticingly at the left post.

The Uruguayans may have been disappointed not to squeeze more out of their star-studded squad, which includes several players making their World Cup debuts such as Darwin Núñez, who plays for Liverpool, and Frederico Valverde, who has been strong for Real Madrid this season .

Núñez sliced ​​inside with the ball in the 81st minute and was staring at goal, but his curled shot went wide of the right post. Around eight minutes later, Valverde drilled a shot from outside the box that slammed into the left post and shook the entire goal.

Meanwhile, on the South Korean side, all eyes were on Son, who underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a broken bone in his face that had jeopardized his participation in the tournament. Wearing a black protective mask, Son hovered on the fringes of the action, attracting marbles every time he picked up the ball, but apart from a shot that went wide in the final moments of regulation, he was mostly unable to affect play.