Stalemate in Russia-Korea clash


READ: As it happened

The game only really sparked to life midway through the second half as two quick goals in the space of five minutes set up the encounter for an entertaining finish, yet neither side could capitalise as both settled for a point in the end.

The opening stages were far from engaging as both sides struggled to settle in an error-ridden first half.

Korea looked the better side after the break as Koo Ja-cheol stung the palms of Russian shot-stopper Igor Afinkeev with a ferocious strike, while Ki Sung-Yueng’s effort forced another save from Russia’s glove-man just a minute later.

Yet it was Russia’s usually-reliant keeper that was to blame for the opening goal as substitute Lee Keun-ho’s shot from distance was fumbled as the ball popped over the Afinkeev’s goal-line to give the Asians the lead.

The Korean’s joy was short-lived however, as Russian substitute Alexander Kerzhakov pounced on a loose ball in the box, burying home the equaliser just two minutes after entering the field of play.

Despite being buoyed on by their leveller, Russia’s dominance in the final stages was not rewarded as the two sides shared a point apiece, leaving them joint-second in Group H above African opponents Algeria, who succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Belgium earlier in the day.