SEOUL – South Korea scored a 2-1 win on Friday over Uruguay in a friendly match that ultimately turned on the visitors’ failure to properly defend a corner.
The South Koreans came on the field as they’ve done since Paulo Bento took over the team – with boundless energy, excited about the new project promised by the Portuguese coach and eager to please their always devoted fans.
Uruguay, after a long trip, was undaunted by South Korea’s tough start and remained firm on the back line.
Despite the accumulated fatigue, the second half saw some clearer chances for Uruguay, such as Rodrigo Bentancur shot at goal that banged off the South Korean crossbar at the hour mark.
Soon after, the referee awarded a penalty to South Korea for Sebastian Coates’ foul against Hwang Ui-jo.
While Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera stopped Son Heung-min’s penalty try, Hwang pounced on the rebound and put it in the net to put South Korea ahead 1-0.
But all was evened up seven minutes later when an unfortunate slip by Kim Young-gwon left Lucas Torreira alone on the right flank of the box, who passed the ball to Matias Vecino before an almost unprotected goal, where the latter scored easily to make it 1-1.
The South Americans almost took the lead with a maneuver by Edinson Cavani, but the striker missed after goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu came off his line.
The error turned out to be costly, since with little more than 10 minutes left, Jung Woo-young turned a save in the box into a goal after the usually sound Uruguayan defense failed to react on a corner kick.
Bento’s men held onto the lead and racked up their second victory in three matches and the first ever scored against Uruguay in eight games.