Wales 0-0 South Korea: Friendly draw for Robert Page's men before vital Latvia game

Wales' Brennan Johnson has a shot blocked
This was the first meeting between Wales and South Korea

Wales prepared for Monday's crucial Euro 2024 qualifier in Latvia with a goalless friendly at home to South Korea.

Despite declaring beforehand that he would "rather not play" this game, Wales manager Robert Page selected a stronger team than expected.

South Korea enjoyed more possession but it was the hosts who had the better chances, with substitute Kieffer Moore heading against the post in the second half.

As encouraging a display as this was from Page's men, the most pleasing aspect for the under-pressure Wales boss will have been the managed workloads - and avoidance of injuries - for key players before Monday's trip to Riga.

If Wales are to have any hope of qualifying automatically for Euro 2024, victory against Latvia is all but essential.

This draw, as creditable as it might be against opponents who reached the knockout stages of last year's World Cup, meant that Wales have now only won one of their past 13 games.

That poor run of form has led to intense criticism of Page, whose own future will be under scrutiny yet again in Latvia.

Before this compulsory friendly fixture, he was clear that his focus was on Monday's game in Riga so it was somewhat surprising that he made only three changes from his side's most recent competitive outing, a 2-0 Euro 2024 qualifying defeat in Turkey in June.

Some may have viewed Page's selection as an illustration of the pressure he was feeling; that he felt he needed to pick a strong line-up - and potentially risk injuries to important players - against opponents of South Korea's undoubted quality.

Page would no doubt refute such a suggestion and point to the fact that he was merely ensuring his frontline players had time to play together before the trip to Riga.

As the Wales manager predicted, South Korea dominated possession for long periods but he would have been encouraged by the threat his side posed when counter-attacking.

One flowing passing move ended with Nathan Broadhead, on his first Wales start, playing a through ball to Harry Wilson, whose shot under pressure from Seol Young-woo was saved by Kim Seung-gyu.

Harry Wilson has a first half chance for Wales
Harry Wilson had Wales' best chance of the first half at Cardiff City Stadium

For all their possession, South Korea were limited to long-distance shots from captain Son Heung-min and Hwang In-beom.

As promised, Page made several substitutions at half-time and the hour mark in order to manage his players' workloads with the Latvia game in mind.

One of those introduced at the break, Bournemouth striker Moore, had the best chance of the game when he was teed up by a Chris Mepham cross chipped to the back post, but his header hit the post and bounced off Aaron Ramsey's arm to safety.

Wales looked the likeliest team to win this game but another Kim save, this time to deny a Joe Rodon header, secured a draw for South Korea, whose head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is still without a victory in five matches since he took charge in February.

Ultimately, however, this friendly will have little bearing on the fates of Wales and Page. The only meaningful result will be in Latvia on Monday.