Nothing could separate Uruguay and South Korea in their World Cup opener in Group H despite Qatar’s great attacking quality.
In front of a spirited crowd at the Education City Stadium, the South Koreans frustrated Uruguay but didn’t create many clean chances.
Their best fell to Hwang Ui-jo, who shot over the bar in the first half, before Uruguay captain Diego Godin headed in a corner against the post.
Hwang then held his head in his hands as his teammates fell to their knees in disbelief, all in front of a group of South Korean fans behind the goal, who had great vocals throughout.
South Korea had controlled most of the first half, but Uruguay began to dominate as the game progressed and they almost won it in the last minute of regulation time when the Federico Valverde’s long-range effort crashed into the post.
There was one last chance for Tottenham striker Son Heung-min – South Korea’s star man – but he fired wide, much to the relief of Uruguayan fans.
The draw leaves Group H wide open, with many seeing it as a three-way battle for the Round of 16 qualification between Uruguay, South Korea and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Son and Nunez miss chances in draw
Previously, the atmosphere around the stadium was quite subdued, but after kick-off, a few hundred South Korean fans were heard in one corner.
It was their players who took control of the game in the first half, playing good warm-up football and testing the Uruguayan defense from wide areas.
Son was often isolated on the wing, but when given the opportunity to run into space he beat two players and sent a dangerous cross.
He was also found on the edge of the box shortly after the second half, but Uruguayan Jose Gimenez issued a crucial sliding challenge to deny him a shot.
Son was only an occasional threat, but the crowd often rose to their feet as their voices rose in anticipation of what he could potentially deliver – and he nearly succeeded in the final moments when he dragged an effort wide.
Uruguay’s game plan was clear. They were looking to play above the South Korean defense at every opportunity, with Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez a threat on the counter-attack with his pace.
Real Madrid’s Valverde nearly hit the end of a long ball from Gimenez, while Nunez should have connected with a cross from the right.
As the game wore on Uruguay became more dangerous – Nunez escaped down the left but couldn’t find a team-mate, moments before manager Diego Alonso used his wildcard with the introduction of former Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani.
Cavani looked sharp, almost connecting with Nunez’s sparkling shot, which flew just wide of the post, but the South Korean defense held on for a point that could prove vital in a competitive Group H.