Brazil vs. Serbia World Cup Match Live: Results and Updates

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Not every World Cup game will be a blockbuster.

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

Consider the opening match of Group H of the World Cup on Thursday night, where Uruguay and South Korea drew 0-0 in front of 41,663 fans at Education City Stadium. The teams surrounded each other before a cheerily buzzing crowd, sizing up each other. But neither delivered a decisive blow.

Nor will the fan base be crushed by the result. One point each in the first match, with Portugal awaiting both teams later in the first round, can be a good way to start a tournament.

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

Uruguay came out favored. He brought an experienced squad to Qatar, including Martín Cáceres, Diego Godín and Luis Suárez, whose inclusions in the starting line-up gave them appearances in four World Cups. When Edinson Cavani entered midway through the second half, he, too, joined the club of four World Cups.

The game was played to the incessant drumming of a small but noisy group of South Korean fans, dressed in bright red, in one corner of the stadium. The Uruguayans intervened periodically from the opposite corner.

Those fans, and any neutrals, were subjected to a cautious tactical battle, with South Korea working quickly, weaving short passing sequences down the field and from side to side, controlling possession until the second half, when they took on a more defensive perspective. . Uruguay, meanwhile, seemed content all night to slow play down, defend calmly on a low block, pick moments to charge the field with their fearsome group of attackers.

The Koreans’ best scoring chance of the first half came in the 34th minute, after they worked the ball past Hwang Ui-jo, alone in front of goal. But he dodged her unique shot over the bar and could only smile at his mistake.

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

Uruguay responded in the 43rd, when Godín rose high to blast a header towards goal, only to see him hit the left post enticingly.

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

Núñez cut with the ball inside on 81′ and looked determinedly at goal, but drilled his curvy shot wide of the right post. Some eight minutes later, Valverde drilled a shot from outside the box that hit the left post, leaving the entire goal shaking.

On the South Korean side, meanwhile, all eyes were on Son, who underwent surgery earlier this month to repair a fractured bone in his face that had threatened his participation in the tournament. Wearing a black protective mask, Son floated around the periphery of the action, drawing buzz every time he picked up the ball, but apart from a shot that went wide late in regulation, he barely managed to affect play.

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