Uruguay - South Korea
  1. Giessen General
  2. Sports
  3. Football

Created: Updated:

The South Korean Heung-Min Son (l) in a duel with Uruguay’s Martin Caceres. © Mike Egerton/PA Wire/dpa

What is a 0-0 start worth? The question will probably only be answered for Uruguay’s old stars around Luis Suárez in the World Cup farewell tour in a duel with Cristiano Ronaldo. A dream comes true.

Al-Rajjan – Uruguay’s record player Diego Godín wiped sweat from his face with a yellow towel after a grueling World Cup afternoon.

The 36-year-old leader of Uruguay’s grand old guard had to settle for a hard-fought 0-0 draw against South Korea at the start of his generation’s farewell World Cup. “A World Cup is very balanced. The important thing is, if you don’t win, you don’t lose,” said the captain with a routine of 160 international matches.

Since fourth place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a sky-blue selection that was celebrated at home and sometimes feared by the opponents, has delighted its fans at the World Cup with at least a place in the round of 16. As for Godín, the tournament in Qatar is also the last World Cup for Luis Suárez (35), Edinson Cavani (35), Martín Cáceres (35) and Fernando Muslera (36). The new generation around Liverpool star Darwin (23) and Real Madrid strategist Fede Valverde (24), who loudly cheered a tackle in the final phase with a clenched fist, is ready.

Valverde: “A dream come true”

Both generations were responsible for the highlights: both Godin with a header and Valverde with a shot worth seeing were just centimeters short of the celebrated winning goal when it came to aluminum hits. The enthusiastic Valverde was denied that, but at least to some extent the award for player of the game made him happy. “A dream becomes true. I have to thank my family and my teammates,” said Valverde. “I enjoyed the game.” The 24-year-old admitted after his World Cup debut that he was really nervous. “It was a beautiful experience.”

The South Americans were able to convince in the long run against the South Koreans, who are very enthusiastic about running and who only made it past the preliminary round twice in ten World Cup appearances, despite all the positive assessments from their side. However, they made it clear that they will be an unpleasant opponent against ex-European champions Portugal and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday.

“I’m not unhappy with my team’s performance,” said coach Diego Alonso, as he analyzed “a tight, good game” in the cool, air-conditioned catacombs of Education City Stadium in a smart suit.

Godin: Had to get into the game through combat

However, the two opponents were not able to create a mood like that of Mexico’s goalless 0-0 draw against Poland among their well-represented fans in the stadium, which was filled with 41,663 spectators.

“In the beginning it was exhausting to get into the game properly. We didn’t have a clear action and had to find our way into the game through the fight,” Godin said. The defensive guard around the defensive edge of CA Vélez Sarsfield didn’t allow a goal against the South Koreans, who had at best mediocre attacking strength. Ronaldo & Co. will certainly be of a different caliber. “The performance was great,” Alonso said of the defensive quartet. “They did exactly what we expected them to do on the field.”

South Korea was also happy about the 0-0, although the team of coach Paulo Bento, who received a yellow card in the final stages, did not follow the famous Asian performances of Saudi Arabia (2-1 against Argentina) and Japan (2-1 against Germany) could build on. “It was a great game overall, very competitive at a very high level,” said the 53-year-old Portuguese. His team also wants to improve against Ghana. dpa

Leave a Reply