With new coach watching, S. Korea falls to Uruguay in football friendly

September 8, 2014
Uruguay's Jose Gimenez, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against South Korea during their friendly soccer match at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Uruguay defeated South Korea 1-0. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Uruguay’s Jose Gimenez, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against South Korea during their friendly soccer match at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, South Korea, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Uruguay defeated South Korea 1-0. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

GOYANG, South Korea (Yonhap) — With its new head coach looking on from the stands, South Korea fell to Uruguay 1-0 in their football friendly on Monday.

Uli Stielike, an ex-German international appointed as the South Korea boss last week, watched the 59th-ranked Asian side fall to the sixth-ranked visitors before the sellout 38,000 fans at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, just west of Seoul.

Defender Jose Gimenez foiled the South Koreans’ bid to make a strong first impression on their new coach, heading in the winner in the 68th minute.

South Korea now has six losses and one draw in seven meetings against Uruguay.

Neither side generated much offense in the mostly cagey first half. South Korea didn’t get a shot on goal until Son Heung-min’s 44th-minute shot from the right edge of the box, which was easily kept out by the diving Uruguayan keeper, Martin Silva.

There was decidedly more life on either end in the second half. In the 61st minute, forward Abel Hernandez missed high his lobbing attempt from the top of the circle. Then in the very next minute, Hernandez took a pretty feed from Giorgian De Arrascaeta and split two defenders to get a shot off, but goalkeeper Lee Bum-young charged out of the net to clear the ball out of the harm’s way.

With Uruguay looking to assert control, South Korea countered in the 66th. Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng floated a perfect pass that found Son Heung-min alone against Silva in the Uruguay net, but the South Korean could only manage a weak shot that rolled right at the opposing custodian.

The missed opportunity haunted South Korea two minutes later, when Gimenez jumped over two defenders to head in a free kick by De Arrascaeta from the left side of the box.

Ki tried to bring the home side level with a 73rd-minute header that went high and left. Ki then hit the crossbar with another header in the 85th minute.

On the ensuing play, Ki appeared to have been elbowed by defender Diego Godin in the box as South Korea was getting ready for a corner, but no penalty was awarded.

Stielike, 59, was named the South Korea boss last Friday and arrived in South Korea earlier Monday. He is expected to take over the team for two friendly matches in October. He drew loud ovations from the fans at the stadium when his image was displayed on the scoreboard during the first half.

South Korea is trying to schedule friendly matches in October against Costa Rica and Paraguay. Two more matches have been set against Jordan on Nov. 14 and against Iran on Nov. 18, both on the road.

A committee of three coaches, led by former K League Classic head coach Shin Tae-yong, was in charge during South Korea’s 3-1 win over Venezuela last Friday, and was back in their temporary duty on Monday.

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