South Korea and Russia played out a score draw in their Group H encounter on Tuesday evening. An upbeat second half overshadowed a disappointing first half as Lee Keun-ho's opener was cancelled out just over five minutes later by Aleksandr Kerzhakov who finished for a deserved Russian goal.
The first half in this one was anything other than a classic with chances limited to speculative long range efforts early on. The majority of the efforts in the opening half hour came from set pieces with Ignashev forcing Jung into a good save.
Minutes later is was time for the Koreans to have an effort of their own as Koo saw his shot deflected, although it appeared as if had it not been charged down it would have nestled nicely into the Russian net.
Just seconds into the second half Victor Fayzulin unleashed a 30 yard strike that the South Korean keeper was forced to tip around the post.
Not long after Koo decided that he would follow Fayzulin's shot with one of his own from similar distance and also one that yielded a similar outcome.
The game's first goal eventually did come with just over twenty minutes to go in the contest courtesy of a goalkeeping howler. South Korean substitute was not even on the pitch 15 minutes when his hopeful 25 yard drive looked to be heading into the arms of Akinfeev. That was not what did end up happening as Akineev ended up flapping at the catch and only managed to bundle the ball over the line in what should have been a routine save.
Russia did get an equaliser not too long after as Kerzhakov smashed home yet another substitute inspired goal from inside the six yard box after the South Koreans had failed to clear the ball during a game of ping pong in the penalty area.
After Fabio Capello's side did get their goal many would have expected them to push on and look for a winner but instead they went back to playing like they had in the first half. An uninspiring finish to a game that will have left the neutrals with mixed emotions.
Russia: Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevic, Vasili Berezutski, Dimitri Kombarov, Andrey Yeshchenko; Denis Glushakov (Igor Denisov 72), Victor Fayzulin, Oleg Shatov, Yuri Zhirkov; (Alexsandr Kerzhakov 71), Aleksandr Samedov, Alexsandr Kokorin.
Subs Not Used: Maksim Kanunnikov, Aleksei Ionov, Vladimir Granat, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksei Kozlov, Yuri Lodygin, Pavel Mogilevets, Sergei Ryzhikov, Georgi Schennikov, Andrei Semenov.
Booked: Oleg Shatov (49).
South Korea: Jung Sung-ryong, Hong Jeong-ho (Hwang Seok-ho 73), Lee Suk-young, Lee Yong, Kim Young-gwon; Son Heung-mi (Kim Bo-kyung 84), Lee Chung-yong, Han Kook-young, Ki Sung-Yueng; Koo Ja-cheol, Park Chu-young (Lee Keun-ho 54)
Sub Not Used: Park Jong-woo, Ji Dong-won, Ha Dae-sung, Kim Chang-soo, Lee Bum-young, Park Joo-Ho, Kim Seung-gyu, Kim Shin-wook, Kwak Tae-hwi
Booked: Son Heung-min (13), Ki Sung-Yeung (30), Koo Ja-cheol (90)
Referee: Nestor Pitana (Argentina)
Extatime.com Man Of The Match: Victor Fayzulin (Russia)
Gareth is the Editor of Extratime.ie. Gareth began as a normal reporter covering games all over Dublin before being asked to help out with behind the scene activities and eventually moving into the role of Editor prior to the start of the 2016 season. Some have said this was a seemless transition taking over from our owner and chief who shares the same great name. <br /><br /> Gareth has covered many games both male and female and even has experience covering underage tournaments such as the Galway Cup. Gareth has also attended many high profile internationals such as Ireland's famous win over Germany back in 2015. Where were you when Shane Long put the ball in the Germans net? <br /><br /> Gareth also had the pleasure of being part of the Extratime Team that traveled to France in the summer of 2016 to cover the European Championships. A truly memorable experience. <br /><br /> Today, Gareth isn't seen in as many press boxes as he once was as his time is mostly spent locked in a dark room also known as Extratime HQ where he busily runs the madness that is Extratime's Friday nights operation. He will also upload many articles throughout the week while also dealing with the PRO's of League of Ireland clubs on a daily basis. Ongoing recruitment is also high on Gareth's list of roles and if you are interested in getting involved don't forget to e-mail him at ExtratimeLive@gmail.com