Russia draws 1-1 with South Korea


 
CUIABA: Alexander Kerzhakov scored with one of his first touches after coming on as a substitute to earn Russia a 1-1 draw with South Korea in a match marked by the first big goalkeeping error of the World Cup.

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev spilled Lee Keun-ho’s speculative long-range shot into his own net to gift South Korea a 68th-minute lead at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba in Group H.

But Kerzhakov bailed his teammate out, turning in a shot from close range in the 74th - three minutes after coming on as a substitute - to rescue a point for Russia in a poor-quality match.

Akinfeev stayed on the ground inside his own net, head in his hands, after making his blunder, clearly embarrassed after dropping what was a routine save from a shot from about 30 yards. He was consoled by a couple of teammates, who patted him on the back, but soon joined in the celebrations when Kerzhakov equalised shortly after.

The explosive six-minute spell that featured both goals was not in keeping with the rest of a fairly mundane game characterised by slow build-up play, poor passing and wayward finishing.
 Russia, led by former England coach Fabio Capello, was just as lifeless in attack - at least until Kerzhakov and Alan Dzagoev came off the bench - and a dire first half was marked by the large contingent of Brazilian fans in the crowd doing slow hand clapping.
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