Former England coach Fabio Capello saw his Russia side come from behind to draw with South Korea in Group H thanks to a goal by Aleksandr Kerzhakov.

The substitute drove the ball home to join Vladimir Beschastnykh as Russia's all-time top scorer with 26 goals.

South Korea had led through a long-range shot from Lee Keun-ho that squirmed through the hands of goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Belgium top the group after their earlier win over Algeria.

Analysis

"Russia did not react until the 68th minute when they went a goal down. All of sudden they went two up front and were an attacking force.

"Russia's Akinfeev was struggling holding onto everything all night. That goal from South Korea is schoolboy. For someone who has 70 caps for Russia, that may be his last."

The late excitement in Cuiaba was in stark contrast to much of what had gone before.

South Korea had been marginally the more inventive side, although they needed a significant amount of luck to take the lead as the edgy Akinfeev gifted them the opening goal.

But the substitutions by Capello - who led England to the last 16 in 2010 - proved crucial for Russia, looking to build a platform from which to advance to the knockout stages for the first time since the Soviet Union reached the second phase in 1986.

Son Heung-min had Korea's best two chances of the first half, linking well with Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young on both occasions. But he failed to hit the target with either chance, while captain Koo Ja-cheol saw a deflected shot fly just wide.

Russia had been limited to long-range efforts, Sergey Ignashevich's free-kick forcing Jung Sung-ryong into an unconvincing save.

Neither goalkeeper inspired much confidence and after Jung had tipped a shot from Victor Fayzulin over the bar in the first minute of the second half, captain Vasily Berezoutski headed into the side netting from the resulting corner.

Match facts

  • Including games as the Soviet Union, this was Russia's first draw in 12 World Cup games
  • This was the first time in four World Cups that South Korea haven't started with a win
  • Russia's last eight goals in the World Cup have all come after half-time
  • South Korea have won only two of their last 11 World Cup games

The sides then traded speculative shots and Akinfeev struggled to keep out a free-kick from Kim Young-Gwon.

But that was nothing compared with the error he made on 68 minutes, when he allowed a 25-yard head-height shot from substitute Lee to slip through his hands and into the net.

Russia, however, had been showing more urgency since the introduction of Alan Dzagoev, and a second Capello substitution paid off almost immediately.

Kerzhakov, the 31-year-old Zenit St Petersburg forward and record goalscorer in Russian domestic football, had been on the field for just three minutes when he struck to earn a deserved point on the eve of the Italian's 68th birthday.

Dzagoev's low shot was well saved but South Korea could not clear and when the ball cannoned into Kerzhakov, he showed the necessary composure to fire home a right-footed shot from six yards out.

Russia saw the chance to press for a winner and Alexander Kokorin went close with two headers before Aleksandr Samedov fired well wide in stoppage time.

Russia boss Fabio Capello told BBC Sport:

"It was a good game, they ran a lot in the first half and then felt tired. You saw the goal they scored, it was not easy to react.

"But the players were really good and most important for me was the reaction. We also twice had a chance to score a second goal.

"I know Kerzhakov did well, he's a fantastic player. He always offers us a way to score goals."

South Korea coach Hong Myung-bo said:

"In such a tournament, the first match is the most difficult. There is a lot of pressure on it, so I thought the players played very well.

"I think our players really did their utmost on the pitch today. Tactically and physically, each and every moment they played intelligently.

"We focused our rhythm and organisation on this match. I think it worked well. The condition of players and organisation of the team was good."

Alexander Kerzhakov scores for Russia

Alexander Kerzhakov's equaliser for Russia equalled his country's goalscoring record

Russia's Aleksandr Kerzhakov

Fabio Capello will have enjoyed his birthday more thanks to Aleksandr Kerzhakov's equaliser

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had a night to forget after gifting South Korea the opening goal

Lee Keun-ho celebrates his goal for South Korea.

Lee Keun-ho's goal was not enough to maintain South Korea's run of winning starts in the World Cup

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Russia

  • 01 Akinfeev
  • 22 Eshchenko
  • 23 Kombarov
  • 20 Faizulin
  • 14 Berezoutski
  • 04 Ignashevitch
  • 19 Samedov
  • 08 Glushakov (Denisov - 72' )
  • 09 Kokorin
  • 17 Shatov Booked (Dzagoev - 59' )
  • 18 Zhirkov (Kerzhakov - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Kozlov
  • 03 Schennikov
  • 05 Semenov
  • 06 Kanunnikov
  • 07 Denisov
  • 10 Dzagoev
  • 11 Kerzhakov
  • 12 Lodygin
  • 13 Granat
  • 15 Mogilevets
  • 16 Ryzhikov
  • 21 Ionov

South Korea

  • 01 Jung Sung-ryong
  • 12 Lee Yong
  • 03 Yun Suk-young
  • 16 Ki Sung-yueng Booked
  • 20 Hong Jeong-ho (Hwang Seok-ho - 72' )
  • 05 Kim Young-gwon
  • 17 Lee Chung-yong
  • 14 Han Kook-young
  • 10 Park Chu-young (Lee Keun-ho - 56' )
  • 13 Koo Ja-cheol Booked
  • 09 Son Heung-min Booked (Kim Bo-kyung - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Kim Chang-soo
  • 04 Kwak Tae-hwi
  • 06 Hwang Seok-ho
  • 07 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 08 Ha Dae-sung
  • 11 Lee Keun-ho
  • 15 Park Jong-woo
  • 18 Kim Shin-wook
  • 19 Ji Dong-won
  • 21 Kim Seung-gyu
  • 22 Park Joo-ho
  • 23 Lee Bum-young
Ref: Néstor Pitana
Att: 37,603

Match Stats

Shots

18 10

On target

5 5

Corners

4 4

Fouls

15 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Russia 1, South Korea 1.

90:00 +3:58 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Russia 1, South Korea 1.

90:00 +3:15

Attempt missed. Aleksandr Samedov (Russia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Alexander Kokorin with a cross.

90:00 +1:31

Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:31

Foul by Alan Dzagoev (Russia).

90:00 Booking

Booking Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

89:50

Hand ball by Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea).

89:23

Attempt blocked. Igor Denisov (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

89:11

Attempt missed. Alexander Kokorin (Russia) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aleksandr Samedov with a cross.

87:59

Attempt missed. Alexander Kokorin (Russia) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Dmitriy Kombarov with a cross.

84:16

Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

84:16

Foul by Sergei Ignashevitch (Russia).

83:11

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

83:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, South Korea. Kim Bo-Kyung replaces Son Heung-Min.

82:30

Delay in match Han Kook-Young (South Korea) because of an injury.

81:24

Attempt missed. Alan Dzagoev (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

81:21

Attempt blocked. Alexander Kokorin (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dmitriy Kombarov.

80:08

Corner, Russia. Conceded by Kim Young-Gwon.

78:53

Corner, South Korea. Conceded by Dmitriy Kombarov.

78:33

Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

78:33

Foul by Alexander Kerzhakov (Russia).

78:25

Attempt blocked. Son Heung-Min (South Korea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Keun-Ho.

73:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Russia 1, South Korea 1. Alexander Kerzhakov (Russia) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Andrey Eshchenko.

73:28

Attempt saved. Alan Dzagoev (Russia) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andrey Eshchenko.

72:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, South Korea. Hwang Seok-Ho replaces Hong Jeong-Ho.

71:55

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

71:33 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Russia. Igor Denisov replaces Denis Glushakov.

70:55

Delay in match Hong Jeong-Ho (South Korea) because of an injury.

70:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Russia. Alexander Kerzhakov replaces Yuri Zhirkov.

69:37

Attempt blocked. Denis Glushakov (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dmitriy Kombarov.

67:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Russia 0, South Korea 1. Lee Keun-Ho (South Korea) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Han Kook-Young.

66:02

Jung Sung-Ryong (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:02

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

61:54

Attempt saved. Dmitriy Kombarov (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Denis Glushakov.

61:46

Attempt blocked. Andrey Eshchenko (Russia) right footed shot from long range on the right is blocked.

61:12

Attempt saved. Hong Jeong-Ho (South Korea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng with a cross.

60:22

Yun Suk-Young (South Korea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

60:22

Foul by Andrey Eshchenko (Russia).

58:53 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Russia. Alan Dzagoev replaces Oleg Shatov.

58:37

Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:37

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

57:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

57:32

Delay in match Han Kook-Young (South Korea) because of an injury.

56:52

Attempt saved. Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

55:52

Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:52

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

55:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, South Korea. Lee Keun-Ho replaces Park Chu-Young.

54:23

Son Heung-Min (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

54:23

Foul by Denis Glushakov (Russia).

52:57

Park Chu-Young (South Korea).

52:57

Dmitriy Kombarov (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:19

Attempt missed. Lee Chung-Yong (South Korea) header from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng with a cross following a corner.

51:38

Corner, South Korea. Conceded by Sergei Ignashevitch.

50:43

Han Kook-Young (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:43

Foul by Viktor Faizulin (Russia).

50:04

Attempt saved. Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

49:03

Attempt saved. Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Ki Sung-Yueng.

48:14 Booking

Booking Oleg Shatov (Russia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

48:09

Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) wins a free kick on the left wing.

48:09

Foul by Oleg Shatov (Russia).

45:58

Attempt missed. Vassili Berezoutski (Russia) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Dmitriy Kombarov with a cross following a corner.

45:27

Corner, Russia. Conceded by Jung Sung-Ryong.

45:24

Attempt saved. Viktor Faizulin (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Oleg Shatov.

45:00

Second Half begins Russia 0, South Korea 0.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Russia 0, South Korea 0.

41:39

Corner, South Korea. Conceded by Vassili Berezoutski.

38:07

Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (South Korea) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Park Chu-Young with a headed pass.

37:23

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

36:46

Delay in match Hong Jeong-Ho (South Korea) because of an injury.

36:23

Hong Jeong-Ho (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

36:23

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

33:18

Corner, South Korea. Conceded by Sergei Ignashevitch.

33:14

Attempt blocked. Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

32:30

Attempt missed. Yuri Zhirkov (Russia) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alexander Kokorin.

30:54

Attempt saved. Sergei Ignashevitch (Russia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

30:30

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

30:08

Delay in match Aleksandr Samedov (Russia) because of an injury.

29:36 Booking

Booking Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea) is shown the yellow card.

29:04

Aleksandr Samedov (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

29:04

Foul by Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea).

28:19

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

28:19

Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

27:20

Attempt missed. Alexander Kokorin (Russia) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Dmitriy Kombarov with a cross.

26:52

Attempt blocked. Andrey Eshchenko (Russia) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked.

26:11

Corner, Russia. Conceded by Ki Sung-Yueng.

23:19

Foul by Oleg Shatov (Russia).

23:19

Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:10

Attempt missed. Aleksandr Samedov (Russia) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Viktor Faizulin with a cross.

18:35

Foul by Alexander Kokorin (Russia).

18:35

Kim Young-Gwon (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:48 Booking

Booking Son Heung-Min (South Korea) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

12:42

Foul by Son Heung-Min (South Korea).

12:42

Aleksandr Samedov (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

10:10

Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (South Korea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Koo Ja-Cheol.

9:30

Viktor Faizulin (Russia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

9:30

Foul by Han Kook-Young (South Korea).

6:57

Corner, Russia. Conceded by Kim Young-Gwon.

5:40

Foul by Denis Glushakov (Russia).

5:40

Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:33

Denis Glushakov (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

3:33

Foul by Koo Ja-Cheol (South Korea).

3:13

Viktor Faizulin (Russia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

3:13

Foul by Park Chu-Young (South Korea).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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