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S. Korea play Wales to goalless draw, remain winless under Klinsmann

Sept. 8, 2023 - 09:43 By Yonhap
Son Heung-min of South Korea (center) is challenged by Connor Roberts (right) and Ethan Ampadu of Wales during the teams' friendly football match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korea played Wales to a goalless draw in their latest men's football friendly match on Thursday in Cardiff, as their winless streak under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stretched to five matches.

The first meeting between world No. 28 South Korea and 35th-ranked Wales generated few sparks at Cardiff City Stadium in the Welsh capital. The Taegeuk Warriors now have three draws and two losses under Klinsmann, who was named South Korea's bench boss in late February.

This was South Korea's first match away from home during Klinsmann's regime. Their next match will be against Saudi Arabia in Newcastle, England, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday local time, or 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Seoul.

South Korea failed to put much pressure on Wales in the first half. It was Wales that threatened to score first in the 13th minute. Harry Wilson, taking a feed from Nathan Broadhead, penetrated the South Korean box untouched and tested goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu with an attempt from close range.

South Korean attackers had trouble finding space in the attacking zone, and also struggled to connect on outlet passes in their own zone.

It wasn't until late moments of the first half that South Korea showed a bit of life. Lee Ki-je's sharp cross from the left wing on 36 minutes skipped past striker Cho Gue-sung, with the trailing winger Hong Hyun-seok also unable to get his foot on the ball. Some four minutes later, captain Son Heung-min danced his way into the attacking third before sending a harmless shot right at goalkeeper Danny Ward.

South Korea failed to build on that momentum in the second half, though Son fired a left-footed curler that sailed over the target in the 56th minute.

Wales nearly opened the scoring on 65 minutes when Kieffer Moore's header, set up by Chris Mepham, struck the right goal post. In the ensuing scramble, Broadhead unleashed a shot from the center of the box blocked by defender Seol Young-woo.

About four minutes later, Joe Rodon tried to head home an Aaron Ramsey corner but Kim Seung-gyu met the challenge with a diving stop to his left.

Welsh captain Ben Davies had an open look on goal in the 86th minute, and Kim turned aside Davies' left-footed attempt to keep the match tied. (Yonhap)