South Korea s head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, second from right, encourages South Korea s Son Heung-min, left, as South Korea s Oh Hyeon-gyu, right, walks after their friendly soccer match between South Korea and Colombia in Ulsan, South Korea, Friday, March 24, 2023. (Shin Hyun-woo/Yonhap via AP)
The former Germany and U.S. coach was appointed last month and his first match in charge was a 2-2 home draw with Colombia on Friday.
After Korea progressed to the second round of last year's World Cup at the expense of Uruguay, the result provided some measure of revenge for the visiting team.
The meeting between the two teams in Qatar ended 0-0 but it only took Sebastian Coates 10 minutes to open the scoring for Uruguay, after he rose above the Korean defense to head home a corner from Federico Valverde.
Six minutes into the second half, midfielder Hwang In-beom fired home a shot from inside the penalty area. But Lazio's Matias Vecino grabbed the winner in the 63rd minute, scoring from close range after goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo parried a Joaquin Piquerez free-kick.
With six minutes remaining, Kim Young-gwon headed home but the goal was ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Japan and Australia, who also reached the second round of the 2022 World Cup, fell to home defeats against South American opposition.
Despite taking a third-minute lead in Osaka against Colombia thanks to a powerful header from Brighton’s in-form winger Kaoru Mitoma, Japan was beaten 2-1.
Colombia equalized just after the half-hour through Aston Villa’s Jhon Duran before Rafael Borre sealed the victory with a spectacular overhead kick on 61 minutes
Just four days after defeating Ecuador 3-1 in Sydney, Australia lost to the same opposition 2-1 in Melbourne.
Brandon Borrello put the Socceroos ahead after 16 minutes but two second-half goals, the first a Pervis Estupinan penalty and the second from William Pacho after 65 minutes, gave Ecuador the win.
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