November 25, 2022 09:49
Korea got off to a good start at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Thursday, drawing with Uruguay 0-0 in its first group match and posting one point.
It is Korea's 11th World Cup appearance and 10th in a row since its first participation in 1954, when it failed to advance to the tournament stage. It has qualified for the quadrennial event every time since 1986.
South American powerhouse Uruguay is currently ranked 14th in the world, but No. 28 Korea was not outplayed, showing their fighting spirit at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.
Tottenham Hotspur forward and national team captain Son Heung-min, who underwent surgery for fractures around his left eye early this month, played the full 90 minutes, wearing a protective facial mask.
Korean defenders including Kim Min-jae of Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli showed stable defense. They also had a little luck, as Uruguay hit the goal post twice.
Na Sang-ho of FC Seoul started as a replacement for Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Lee Kang-in of RCD Mallorca, who rarely had a chance to play during Korea's World Cup preparations, was substituted for Na in the 75th minute. Lee, the youngest player in the 26-man roster, made his World Cup debut.
While he did not earn any offensive points, he brought energy to the team and displayed his ability, and did not appear overwhelmed by the occasion.
Korea will face Ghana (No. 61) on Nov. 28 and Portugal (No. 9) on Dec. 2.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com