Uruguay kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 0-0 bore draw against South Korea in Qatar.
Diego Alonso, who started with Darwin Nunez up front over Edinson Cavani, saw his side start slowly and offer little attacking intent in the opening exchanges.
It was the South Koreans in control with Hwang Ui-Jo spurning a great opportunity from inside the box when he blazed a shot over while Son Heung-min, who was playing with a face mask after having surgery, had an effort charged down.
The South Americans eventually found their rhythm with the in-form Federico Valverde having a shot deflected over while Diego Godin rattled the post with a header.
The second half followed a similar pattern with Uruguay looking flat for the most part which led to the introduction of Cavani, his country’s all-time leading goalscorer, for Luiz Suarez.
Cavani had one chance which was charged down while Federico Valverde hit the post from distance, but overall Uruguay did not test the goalkeeper enough, which will crank up the pressure for their next game against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal on Monday.
Why were Uruguay so flat?
They boast a lot of attacking talent but Diego Alonso’s side seemed to be playing with the handbrake on for large parts against a resolute side.
Suarez was unable to get in the game while Nunez had a bad day at the office with his wayward passing.
The second half was largely forgetful apart from a Diego Maradona-esque pirouette from Rodrigo Bentancur in his own half.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
José Giménez (Uruguay):
The Atletico Madrid defender had a rock solid partnership with the veteran Diego Godin in dealing with the constant pressure from South Korea from crosses. And he set up a few chances with some sublime diagonal long balls.
SOUTH KOREA: Kim Seung-gyu 5, Kim 6, Kim 6, Kim Young-Gwon 6, Kim 6, Hwang 6, Jung Woo-Young 5, Na 5, Lee Jae-Sung 7, Son Heung-Min 6, Hwang 6. Subs: GS Cho n/a, Son n/a, Lee n/a.
URUGUAY: Rochet 6, Cáceres 7, Godín 8, Giménez 8, Olivera 7, Valverde 6, Vecino 6, Bentancur 7, Pellistri 5, Suárez 5, Núñez 6. Subs: Cavani, 6, De la Cruz n/a, Vinha n/a. Varela n/a.
34′ – BIG CHANCE! Lovely patient buildup, a low cross finds Hwang Ui-Jo who leaning back fires his effort from inside the box over.
43′ – WOODWORK! Pellestri’s low cross towards Suarez in the box is put behind. The delivery finds Godin whose header strikes the post.
90′ – WOODWORK! Valverde rattles the bar with a ferocious shot from distance, keeper looked to have that covered.