Jun 17, 2014 at 11pm UK at ​Arena Pantanal, Cuiaba
Russia
1-1
South KoreaSouth Korea
Kerzhakov (74')
Shatov (48')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Keun-Ho (68')
Heung-Min (12'), Sung-Yueng (30'), Ja-Cheol (90')

Live Commentary: Russia 1-1 South Korea - as it happened

Son Heung-Min celebrates scoring for South Korea on March 26, 2013.
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the World Cup Group H match between Russia and South Korea.

Russia claimed a point in their opening World Cup Group H match with South Korea.

Igor Akinfeev's poor mistake handed the Asians the lead through Lee Keun-Ho, but Russian substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov levelled the match up in the 74th minute.

Take a look at how the action unfolded below.


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10pmGood evening and welcome to the live coverage of tonight's World Cup Group H clash between Russia and South Korea here on Sports Mole. With Belgium winning earlier tonight, both sides will be eager to get their campaigns off to a winning start to avoid slipping behind already. After that Brazil and Mexico game just now, I'm hoping we'll be reverting to the "goals galore", all-action theme that this tournament had previously provided!

10.03pmThe teams have already been announced, so let's have a look at who managers Fabio Capello and Hong Myung-Bo have selected.

10.03pmRussia XI: Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Glushakov, Kokorin, Berezutskiy (c), Shatov, Zhirkov, Samedov, Fayzulin, Eshchenko, Kombarov.

10.04pmSouth Korea XI: Jung Sung-Ryong, Yun Suk-Young, Kim Young-Gwon, Son Heung-Min, Park Chu-Young, Lee Young, Koo Ja-Cheoi (c), Han Kook-Young, Ki Sung-Yueng, Lee Chung-Yong, Hong Jeong-Ho.

10.06pmOf course, the big news for Russia is the loss of captain Roman Shirokov. The Zenit St Petersburg midfielder is due to have knee surgery any day now, having sustained the problem playing for his club back in April. The 32-year-old is a key man for his country so last week's news that he was to miss the World Cup was a bitter blow.

10.07pmWith Shirokov's presence lacking from the middle third, Russia will look to utilise the wide areas, so ex-Chelsea winger Yuri Zhirkov and Dmitri Kombarov could both have a major impact.

10.09pmCSKA Moscow defender Vasili Berezutski has been named the captain of the squad in Shirokov's absence. The 31 year-old is one of a number of experienced heads in the Russia camp, and he 78 caps to his name.

10.10pmFor South Korea, Son Heung-Min is the star man. The 21-year-old shone for Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen last season after a move from Hamburg, scoring ten times in the league. He's a pacey and creative playmaker and if he performs tonight then his team surely have a chance.

10.12pmThere's a couple of English-based players in the lineup too, with Sunderland midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng probably the most well known on these shores. The anonymous Arsenal forward Park Chu-Young is also in the lineup and despite his non-existence in the Gunners' squad, his record of 24 goals in 64 internationals cannot be sniffed at. Bolton's Lee Chung-Yong is also in the starting eleven.

10.15pmThe Russians are the better side in terms of current form, with their last defeat coming way back last August when they lost a World Cup qualifier to Northern Ireland thanks to a Martin Paterson header. Since then, tonight's two sides have actually met in a friendly, with Russia triumphing 2-1 in Dubai last November. Goals from Fyodor Smolov and Dmitri Tarasov were enough that night, but neither man has even made the squad for Brazil this month.

10.17pmIn contrast, the Korean's are in rotten form of late. Hong Myung-Bo's men come into the finals having lost four of their last five friendlies. They failed to register a goal in any of those losses either, with their final warm up game ending in an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Ghana.

10.18pmThey've also lost to fellow World Cup outfits the USA and Mexico this calendar year, although they did win 2-0 away in Greece back in March.

10.20pmThat game in November was the only ever previous meeting between the two teams, so unfortunately there is very little game specific history to talk about here.

10.22pmHowever, both nations have their own World Cup history's to speak of, and the 2002 tournament - which South Korea co-hosted - is memorable for each team.

10.25pmKorea of course enjoyed a wonderful campaign on home soil, becoming the first Asian side to reach the last-four of the World Cup. Hong was the captain of that squad 12 years ago, and how he'd love to lead his team to anything like that success this time around. To be honest, he'd probably be delighted to get them out of the group stage.

10.26pmThat 2002 tournament is memorable for the Russians, given that it was the last time that they featured in a World Cup finals. Since then, they have in fact reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008. Despite getting off to a winning start in Asia against Tunisia, the Russians crashed to losses against Japan and Belgium, finishing behind both to exit at the group stage.

10.32pmRussian boss Capello has of course been at a finals since then, managing England in South Africa four years ago. Unfortunately, the Italian led the Three Lions to their heaviest ever finals defeat, being humbled by a rampant German side 4-1 in Bloemfontein during the last 16. This tournament gives Capello the chance to redeem himself on the international stage, though at club level he's won a number of league titles in both Italy and Spain, as well as the Champions League with AC Milan in 1994.

10.33pmAfter leaving the England post under a cloud just months before Euro 2012, Capello led the Russian team to the top of their qualifying group - ahead of a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal. Ronnie and friends had to overcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden in the playoffs while Russia sat back knowing that the job was done.

10.35pmSouth Korea's qualification campaign was a little different, with the two-staged Asian process slightly more complex. After topping the first group, they finished runners-up on goal difference behind Iran in phase two. Uzbekistan were the team that the Korean's edged out to reach Brazil.

10.36pmThe side was managed then by Choi Kang-Hee, however he quit despite the fact that they eventually qualified. Expectation in the country was high, and when they failed to progress with flying colours, many doubted the job he could do once the tournament came around. Hong therefore took over, but in truth the side have struggled ever since.

10.40pmAs I said earlier, Belgium won Group H's first game earlier today, with Marouane Fellaini and Dries Mertens scoring the goals against Algeria. Marc Wilmots' side didn't look in particularly great shape, but they came from behind and got the all-important three points.

10.45pmThese South Korean fans in the stadium certainly look ready. I'm not sure who has inspired their spiky red fire hair or body paint, but I like their commitment!

South Korean fans react prior to a Group H football match between Russia and South Korea in the Pantanal Arena in Cuiaba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 17, 2014© Getty Images


10.47pmSpeaking of the stadium, this is the second of four matches Cuiaba's Arena Pantanal will host during the tournament. Over 40,000 were in attendance here on Friday as Chile defeated Australia 3-1 in Group B.

10.52pmWe have Argentinian officials in charge of this one, and 38 year-old Nestor Pitana is the man with the whistle tonight. Pitana has refereed almost 40 international matches since retiring as an actor in 2010 apparently! But no, I have no idea which films or television shows that he may have starred in!

10.54pmPREDICTION: I took part in a World Cup guessing game pre-tournament and in that I predicted this result to be 2-0 in favour of the Russians. Based on the form of both of these sides, not much is making me change my mind, and I fancy them to come out on top in this one. Despite a modest record of five goals in his first 23 internationals, I'd like to see 23 year-old striker Aleksandr Kokorin have a good game. He's set to be the poster-boy when Russia host the World Cup in four years time, so there's certainly a lot of expectation on him.

10.55pmIt's been quite the wait for these two sides to finally get underway, with Brazil and Mexico in Group A both having played twice already! But we're just five minutes away from kick-off now and the Russian national anthem is ringing around the stadium.

10.58pmBoth anthems are now done and we're ready for action. Russia are all in a dark red, maroon strip, while the Korean's wear all-white.

0 minHere we go then, Russia get us underway in the final first-round match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

1 minStar man Son picks up the ball straight away and treats the crowd to a nutmeg before running into a Russian player. The fans seem extremely vocal each time that Korea are in possession already.

3 minThe ball is played to Kokorin in his own half but he can't hold it up. It's a mixed start, with both teams enjoying some possession.

4 minKoo commits a foul on Glushakov in his own half and instead of playing the ball into the box, Russia work it right. They swing their first cross of the night in but it's far too high and off-target.

5 minSouth Korea try to play their way out of danger. When robbed of the ball, Fayzulin plays in another cross, but Kokorin is beaten in the air.

6 minRussia are playing one-touch, triangular passes and Kim makes an error to concede the first corner of the game.

7 minKombarov delivers but it's too high and Korea clear. Son tries to pull the strings in midfield but Russia get back well and snuff out any hopes of a counter attack.

9 minLee Chung-Yong attempts a defence splitting pass in the direction of Park. It's perhaps a yard too far ahead of him, which is unlucky for South Korea.

10 minSouth Korea have their first meaningful attempt, following excellent play from Koo. His header finds Son, who ignores his teammates and opts right, but as he reaches the box he lifts his shot over the top.

11 minKombarov puts in another Russian cross, but again Kokorin is beaten easily in the air. South Korea look pretty comfortable here at the moment.

12 minYELLOW CARD Son picks up the game's first booking, though it appears extremely harsh as it looked as if Samedov wasn't touched. Poor decision.

14 minSouth Korea appear extremely reluctant to clear it long from the back. When they do stop Russian progress, they're not afraid to play it around in defence.

15 minIf anything, it's Russia who are playing the long-game. Kokorin seems unable to make anything stick as yet, however.

16 minZhirkov makes his first run of the night, jinking past one defender. Eventually the ball goes to Fayzulin and then Kokorin, but the attack peters out.

17 minSkipper Berezutskiy once more goes long for Russia. It's a poor tactic which isn't working as yet, and Korea remain comfortable with it.

18 minA better attack has Kokorin try to get on the end of Samedov's cross from the right, however he is flagged offside.

19 minFayzulin plays a dangerous ball into the box from the left, and although Eshchenko gets to it, he can't direct it goalwards.

22 minLee Yong plays a ball into the box which Park nods down. Son attempts to get on the end of it but he's a fraction off the pace as it comes down. It's positive though for South Korea.

23 minThis isn't a great game unfortunately, with neither Akinfeev or Jung Sung-Ryong between the sticks tested as yet.

24 minLee Yong whips in a cross which Akinfeev grasps with ease. It came after Son's run wasn't found by Park, who is maybe suffering from a lack of football. Barely a full 90 minutes played all season with either Arsenal, or on loan at Watford. This is his third World Cup.

26 minRussia win a corner after Ki tackles Shatov. Much better from Russia that move.

26 minJung punches the corner away and although it is lashed back into the box, it strikes a white shirt and bounces safe.

27 minKokorin holds the ball up, feeds it wide and then gets on the end of a cross from the left. It's too high, but it's a bit better from the young striker.

29 minYELLOW CARD Samedov gets to the ball ahead of Ki Sung-Yueng, whose touch is poor, and the South Korean midfielder is rightly booked.

29 minActually, on second look it's not that bad a tackle. Ki certainly wins the ball, though perhaps the referee doesn't like the fact that his second leg left the floor. It's a strong challenge, rather than a poor one.

30 minIgnashevich blasts the resulting free kick from all of 40 yards, forcing Jung to bat it clear. Probably Russia's best attempt so far, despite its range.

32 minWasteful from Zhirkov after decent play from Kokorin. The striker plays it left to the ex-Chelsea man, who makes a poor decision in shooting from range and it goes wide.

33 minCHANCE Up the other end, and Koo's deflected effort leaves Akinfeev rooted to the spot. So close to flying in. Corner instead.

34 minClever corner, and Park almost flicks across the face of goal. Unlucky.

36 minKokorin backs into Hong, who jumps too high and lands awkwardly. He'll be ok, but he certainly landed badly.

38 minCHANCE Awful finish from Son, who tries to blast the ball far too hard into the net. It followed excellent play from Park's knock down, and Son will be bitterly disappointed to fire over so badly.

40 minZhirkov and Shatov combine down the left and cross. Kim is able to clear but Samedov keeps it alive down the right. Eventually, Kombarov gives it away and Korea attempt to break.

41 minSon wins a corner after good link-up with Han. It looked like he was going to shoot again - maybe he thought twice after his last attempt.

42 minKi plays in an inviting ball but Berezutskiy clears. The Korean's then work it right and then back, and the attack is effectively over.

43 minIt's a nice spell of possession for South Korea, who are growing in confidence by the minute. Russia are going to have to do a lot more if they're to win this one.

45 minThere will be a single minute of added time.

11.46pmHALF TIME: RUSSIA 0-0 SOUTH KOREA

11.47pmWell, that wasn't too great. No goals, no real clear chances - this game is going against the grain of this tournament so far!

11.48pmTo be fair to South Korea, they've shown a bit more ambition than Russia going forward. Son looks lively and everything good that they've done has gone through him, unsurprisingly. He will be annoyed with himself for thrashing at that half-chance he had though.

11.50pmRussia however have been extremely poor. Bar a hopeful Ignashevich free-kick piledriver, they have offered very little going forward. Kokorin is struggling up front, so you wonder whether experienced head Aleksandr Kerzhakov might be introduced soon.

11.51pmWith a lack of creativity in the Russian ranks so far, maybe Capello will also bring on Alan Dzagoev at some point. Dzagoev remember was one of the joint-top scorers of Euro 2012.

45 minSouth Korea start the second half. Lets hope for an early goal to spring this game into life.

46 minCHANCE 27 seconds in and Russia arguably have their best moment of the game as Fayzulin shoots from range. Jung parries over and Berezutskiy wins the header from the resulting corner. His effort goes wide, but it's close and Russia look better already.

47 minRussia slow the pace back down again following their better start to the half. If they show more ambition, they'll surely create chances.

48 minYELLOW CARD Shatov goes into the book for Russia after a poor challenge on Lee Yong.

49 minKoo takes a pop from distance, forcing Akinfeev into an awkward looking parry. This is certainly a better game already though.

50 minAnother long-range effort, this time from Ki. His effort bounces in front of Akinfeev, who spills the ball again. Luckily for him, he gathers quickly before Park can pounce.

51 minSon gets the better of Shatov and wins a corner for his team. South Korea are in the ascendency here.

52 minLee jumps highest from the corner, but his header has Akinfeev untroubled.

54 minSUBSTITUTION Lee Keun-Ho comes on for South Korea, replacing Park Chu-Young up front.

55 minKi wins a free-kick off of Kokorin. It's central but a long way out and it would be a surprise to see them shoot from here. Son looks like he's going to hit it though!

56 minThey do shoot, but it's not Son who hits it. Instead, Kim hammers it left-footed and for the third time in ten minutes, Akinfeev looks uncomfortable making the save. His parry encourages Han to go for the rebound, and the midfielder is hurt in the aftermath.

58 minSUBSTITUTION Dzagoev is going to enter the fray, with Capello opting to replace Shatov with him.

59 minDzagoev is likely to go straight into a central role behind Kokorin I would imagine. Hopefully he can have an impact for Russia, who haven't mounted an attack since the first 30 seconds of the half.

61 minClumsy from Yeshchenko, who commits a foul and South Korea will be able to whip a ball into the box.

61 minCHANCE It's not a bad ball from Ki, which Hong meets in the six yard box. Akinfeev collects easily.

62 minAt the other end, Kombarov fires left-footed from distance. Jung parries after a difficult bounce, but I can honestly say I've never seen so many shots cause two keepers as much trouble as these are. Neither keeper looks solid here at all. None of the attempts have been particularly challenging looking, to me at least!

65 minKombarov delivers a brilliant ball into the box which Jung punches clear excellently. Russia manage to cross again but Kokorin fouls the keeper and the danger passes.

67 minGOAL FOR SOUTH KOREA

67 minIt's the substitute Lee Keun-Ho, but it's an absolute howler from Akinfeev in goal! Yet another shot from distance, with Lee powering forward. He feinted shooting twice, and when he did, the keeper didn't look ready for it at all. Akinfeev pushed the ball up, scooping it into his own net. Shocking error, and he looks disgusted with himself.

68 minSUBSTITUTION Kerzhakov replaces Zhirkov, who has had very little impact tonight.

70 minWell, that goal has certainly opened this game up. Akinfeev is still standing with his hands on his knees, desperately wanting the ground to eat him up. It should be a simple catch for him. Shocking goalkeeping.

72 minSUBSTITUTION Both teams make changes, with Hong going off for Hwang Seo-Kho. Denisov has replaced for Glushakov Russia's final sub.

73 minGOAL FOR RUSSIA

74 minHe's only been on for five minutes, but Kerzhakov has levelled the match and it's all about the substitutes. Dzagoev swivels in the box and shoots and Jung makes a good save but he can't parry it out. Kerzhakov adjusts his feet excellently and pokes the ball home. Nobody will be happier than Igor Akinfeev.

76 minSouth Korea mount their first attack since they scored but Ignashevich wins the ball. Samedov almost plays Dzagoev in, and Russia are looking far more dangerous now. Should be a good final 15 minutes here.

78 minSon shuffles to find space but Ignashevich stops him. South Korea then go down the right and the goalscorer Lee wins a corner.

79 minAkinfeev gets his first touch since the goal, claiming a simple catch. Mind you, he should have stopped the opening goal!

81 minCHANCE Kokorin's attempt to shoot is blocked and it falls to Dzagoev, who drags his shot from distance just wide.

82 minSUBSTITUTION South Korea make their last change, with Cardiff City's Kim Bo-Kyung coming on for danger man Son Hyueng-Min.

83 minThe ball is played into Kokorin, who struggles to take it under his control. His had a pretty disappointing evening by all accounts, the young Russian striker.

85 minThis game seems to have lost its spark a little since Russia's equaliser, with a third goal to win it looking unlikely in my opinion.

87 minBoth sets of players are visibly tiring here, but can one of them muster a little more to take the three points?

88 minCHANCE Half-chance really, with Kokorin heading over. His neat play gave Kombarov the chance to cross, however the striker cannot aim his effort down and it flies over the top.

89 minRussia are going for the win without throwing the kitchen sink at this. They're playing a couple of balls into the box, but none really feel like they're going to end with a goal or even a real chance.

90 minYELLOW CARD Koo is booked for South Korea, and we are to have four added minutes.

90+1 minSamedov's poor chipped free-kick into the box is easy for South Korea to clear. Russia come forward again, commit a foul and the attack is over.

90+3 minCHANCE Well that will be it for Russia, as Kokorin's centre is blasted over at the back post by Samedov. Kerzhakov wanted it played on the floor to him and he's not happy. That should be that.

12.51amFULL TIME: RUSSIA 1-1 SOUTH KOREA

12.52amA much better second half from these sides, which is strange because Son's influence on the game waned at it went on. The introduction of Dzagoev made a huge difference for Russia, who will be disappointed not to have created more chances to win the game.

12.53amThe real talking point was Akinfeev's clanger. The Russian stopper will be a relieved man after his awful mistake for South Korea's goal, and it would be no surprise to see Capello replace him next time out.

12.56amMake sure to join us again tomorrow at Sports Mole with another three live games coming your way, including those from Holland and Spain in Group B. Thanks for joining me tonight, but be sure to stay awake as we bring you some reaction and analysis!

Russia's head coach Fabio Capello speaks to his players during his teams friendly international football match against Serbia in Dubai's Al Wasl stadium on November 15, 2013
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