Aleksandr Kerzhakov’s equalizer for Russia saw former England Coach Fabio Capello’s side settle for a 1-1 stalemate against South Korea in their Group H opener.
Russia looked to force pace early on, but South Korea had already shown some technical quality on the ball. Capello’s men lacked creativity and were slow despite being favorites.
Korea came close in the 34th minute with a long range shot from Son Heung but it was deflected just wide into the interval.
South Korea found the back of the net first after substitute Lee Keun-Ho fired speculatively from 30 yards straight at the Russian goalkeeper who threw it into his own net in the 68th minute.
South Korea had only 8 minutes to celebrate the lead as Russia unbelievably replied with Kerzhakov’s effort after a goalmouth scramble.
Russia remained more positive in the last minutes staving off crucial challenges. Russia saved the night for a stalemate as they head for 2-1 winners Belgium next in Group H. Meanwhile, South Korea take on Algeria.