South Korea recorded a 0-0 draw against neighbours the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in their final match of the East Asian Cup on Sunday.
Goal-scoring chances were few and far between in a match of low quality, although Uli Stielike's side were missing several of their regular first teamers.
The result means the Republic of Korea missed out on an opportunity to be confirmed as champions before the final match of the competition, in which China takes on Japan at the Wuhan Sports Centre.
The draw leaves South Korea on five points from their three matches, while North Korea temporarily leapfrogged 2013 runners-up China into second place on four points.
Going into the final match of the tournament in central China, the hosts are on three points, meaning they can lift the trophy for the first time since 2010.
Japan, meanwhile, have only one point from their previous two matches, but could move into the runners-up spot with a victory.