Korea DPR and UAE in stalemate
Hong Yong-Jo missed an early penalty as Korea DPR and United Arab Emirates played out the first goalless draw of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in their opening Group D fixture at Qatar Sports Club Stadium. However, Jo Tong-Sop will be the happier of the two managers after seeing his Korean side outplayed for the vast majority of the contest.
The outcome could have been much different, though, if Korea had taken advantage of a golden opportunity in the sixth minute. A long ball down the left was hooked back by Hong into towards Jong Tae-Se, who took it on his chest before the Bochum striker was bundled over by Hamdan Al Kamali. Hong took the penalty himself but his effort smacked the bar and rebounded to safety.
UAE went on to dominate the first 45 minutes but were unable to find the breakthrough. Ri Myong-Guk enjoyed some good fortune in the 17th minute when his poor punch landed at Ahmed Khalili's feet on the edge of the box but the forward's shot hit the Korean keeper's leg as he rushed out and the danger passed.
Al Kamali almost made an impact at the right end nine minutes later when he lost his marker and met Subait Khater's dangerous inswinging free-kick with a back header from close range that flew just over the bar. Ismaeil Matar then volleyed Amer Abdulrahman's long pass wide when free in the box as the first-half ended goalless.
Chances were harder to come by in the second period but Matar saw a 30-yard snap shot whistle narrowly over in the 54th minute before Ri twice denied UAE as the final whistle approached. First, Matar's bustling run was halted in the box but the ball fell to Ismail Al Hammadi and his shot was turned behind by the Korean keeper at his near post, who then had to be at full stretch to palm away substitute Saeed Al Kathri's glancing header from Khater's cross.