Korea saw marginally more of the ball in the opening stages and Lee Chung-Yong almost put Park Chu-Young through on goal with a defence-splitting pass, but it had just a little too much weight on it for the former Arsenal forward to collect.
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The game started to open up somewhat once the clock ticked past the half-hour mark, as Yuri Zhirkov flashed a shot wide of the near post following a jinking run. At the other end, Koo Ja-Cheol's deflected 20-yard effort span inches wide of Igor Akinfeev's left-hand post.
Five minutes before the break, Son controlled a Park knock-down and cut inside from the left flank, but the Bayer Leverkusen forward blazed his shot over the bar from the edge of the box.