Brazil 2014 World Cup | Russia vs. South Korea

Kick off begins…now it’s the final frontier of the night, I’ll be blogging the game to round off the night via this live feed. Make sure to keep pinned to this blog post as this blog post will continually update.

Russia 1-1 South Korea

Phil Neville (BBC Radio 5 Live): “Alexander Kokorin is the pin-up boy of Russian football. Fabio Capello has left out Aleksandr Kerzhakov to play him, he likes to come off in to the number 10 position, and has a wonderful left foot.”

Danny Murphy (Ex-England Midfielder): “The energy, technical ability and athleticism should be there to see with the Korea players. Regarding Russia, Capello has picked a squad of ageing players. It baffles me. I don’t understand, with the country hosting the next World Cup, why he hasn’t included more youngsters.”

Tom Rostance: “Anyone booked their trip to Russia for the 2018 World Cup? Russia sporting a lovely maroon, almost but not quite claret kit as South Korea take the all white option.”

Martin Keown (BBC Sport): “Fabio Capello still has that arrogance about him and will be expecting his Russia team to do very well tonight. They’re very workmanlike, but you can expect South Korea to work hard too. Although there is very little experience in this team.”

Tom Rostance: “Great feet from Bolton winger Lee Chung-yong as he glides away from two tackles in the centre-circle but he can’t find a team-mate. It’s a fairly steady opening in a very humid stadium.”

John Hartson (Former Wales Striker): “Russia are very durable when you play against them. Every time I think of a Russian team, I have nightmares of 2003 when they beat Wales in the qualifying campaign. Very strong, very experienced.”

Tom Rostance: “South Korea have failed to score in four of their last five international matches but they have been slick and tidy enough so far. Can they hurt Russia though?”

John Hartson: “Michael Laudrup let Ki Sung-yueng go on loan when he was manager of Swansea, but now Garry Monk is in charge you might well see Ki return next season.”

Tom Rostance: “He giveth, he taketh away. Great stuff initially from Son Heung-min to step inside a woeful challenge but then when he has a two-man overload he gives it away.”

Tom Rostance: “It’s a cracking haircut from referee Nestor Pitana, it really is Dave.”

Nestor Pitana
Credit: BBC Sport

Tom Rostance: “Bayer Leverkusen striker Son Heung-min is the current Korean footballer of the year and his touch is great to set up a chance, it brings him inside and he puts on the afterburners to race through the middle, he skins a man on the outside to open up the goal but he leans back and fires wildly over. Russia looked vulnerable there.”

Dean from Reading (by text message): “Forget England I’m supporting Capello’s Russia! Bernstein may have sacked the most successful England manager ever but an honourable man will always be in demand and its great to see him back. Come on you reds!”

Tom Rostance: “Are you a relation Dean?”

Martin Keown: “South Korea have got the work rate but they haven’t really got the players. I’ll be very interested to see how well the Russians can put Fabio Capello’s disciplined system into practice. Denis Glushakov just sits in midfield in front of the defenders, who like to keep quite a high line. Keep your eye on Yuri Zhirkov, he used to play at left-back but now plays as a left winger and is very effective going forward.”

Tom Rostance: “A baffling yellow card for Son Heung-min, who is nowhere near Alexander Samedov as he takes a tumble but gets the booking. Harsh.”

John Hartson: “There was nothing in that from Son. I’m not sure it was worthy of a yellow card when you see some of the tackles flying in during the World Cup.”

Tom Rostance: “Apparently Fabio Capello is the highest-paid coach at the World Cup, raking in £6.7million a year in charge of Russia. It’s also his 68th birthday on Wednesday. So you can open a can for him in 45 minutes if you are in the UK, but he will have to wait a few hours yet over in Brazil…”

Fabio Capello
Credit: BBC Sport

Tom Rostance: “I’m in real danger of doing a 10-hour shift without a goal here. Russia with 54% of possession so far, but we’ve not had a solitary effort on goal yet.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Tony: South Korea look pretty tidy on the ball, with a few quality touches. I can see them getting a result out of this.

Adam: South Korea look very composed on the ball with good technical ability, need to find a way to score against the static Russians.

Nearly 30 minutes into the game, but there are no signs of a goal score from either team, one of the teams has to score.

Tom Rostance: “It’s not often you feel sorry for Pele. But the footballing legend was glued to the radio as heavy traffic in Sao Paulo meant he missed the first half of his country’s goalless draw Tuesday with Mexico earlier on. “I suffered a lot – I listened to the first half in the car. There was so much traffic, the car just wasn’t moving,” said the 73-year-old. “It was the second time I heard a Brazil World Cup match on the radio, in 1950 and today.” You’ve not missed anything. Nothing happening in Cuiaba.”

Martin Keown: “It’s up to Russia to take the game to South Korea, who are quite happy just to sit back in. But everything is very safe and simple. It’s so slow, there is no tempo to the game. It needs to be played much quicker.”

Tom Rostance: “South Korea are packing the centre of midfield, working hard to close down Russia and not give them any room at all. It’s a very slow tempo in there, with the mega heat not helping matters.”

South Korea line-up
Credit: BBC Sport

John Hartson: “It will be Belgium plus AN Other to go through this group. I know Belgium ambled to a win against Algeria but I would think it is one from three to join them.”

Tom Rostance: “Bang! What an effort! Out of nowhere Russian centre-half Sergey Ignashevich drives in a free-kick from 40 yards, it moves in the air, a really cracking strike and Jung Sung-ryong makes a stumbling save. That was a highlight. Yuri Zhirkov then thumps a drive wide on the run. Is this one coming to life? Close! It is getting better. South Korean skipper Koo Ja-cheol hits a shot from 20 yards which takes a deflection which wrong-foots the Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, he is a spectator but the ball skids past the post…

Martin Keown: “Sergey Ignashevich can hit them, but you expect the goalkeeper to save that. He made a bit of a meal of it. Then the ball is nicely worked by Alexander Kokorin, and Yuri Zhirkov is much better than that. He is caught in two minds and ends up kicking into the ground as he shoots on goal.”

Tom Rostance: “Another World Cup first (I think) as we have a specified cooling break to alleviate the heat. Wow! What a miss. Son Heung-min does everything right to bring the ball inside, a defender slips and it all opens up for him to shoot from 18 yards. Son tries to smash the back out of the ball and puts it miles over the bar. A truly horrendous effort. That was worse than Gangnam Style…”

Martin Keown: “Son is in all sorts of space, pulls the trigger but the finish is just woeful. He’s looking at the headlines tomorrow, there. This match is here for the taking. Russia look slightly better but at the moment they just seem happy to get through it. I’d like to be a fly on the wall in the Russia dressing room at half-time.”

John Hartson: “Although it hasn’t been the best quality game, it has been end-to-end and the players have been working hard to cancel each other out. Son should hit the target from there. It is a crime to put it where he did. That was the best opportunity yet.”

Richard from Whitefield (by text message): I’m worried that Nigeria and Iran accidentally killed the World Cup yesterday.


John Hartson: “This Son looks a really good player, he is really lively with good trickery. Yes, the chance was missed, but he was in there and he looks a really good talent.”

Tom Rostance: “You’ve got to be there to miss ’em John. And he was on that occasion.”

Kick-off!!! 2nd half begins, there should be some sort of hope around the corner for either one of these teams.

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Keiron: Not exactly the most amazing half of football I have ever seen!

Gareth: Need Alan Dzagoev to make an appearance for my fantasy team. Might also make this game interesting.

Oliver: The main talking point is the comb over.

Paul Harling (via text message): Pathetic to watch so many footballers throw themselves to the ground. Hope none of my children take up football.

Tom Rostance: “And an instant shot! Victor Faizulin curls in an effort from 20 yards. The man with the map almost finds the way to goal. And even closer from the corner! Vasili Berezutskiy heads into the side-netting. Russia making a far better start to this half then. Can they maintain that pace and purpose? Decent effort for South Korea now too as Koo Ja-cheol hits one from range, he forces Igor Akinfeev into a strong save.”

John Hartson: “Both teams have come out with a bit more attacking intent this half. There have been a couple of shots and both teams look like wanting the winner.”

Tom Rostance: “South Korea make a change. Park Chu-young comes off and their top scorer in qualifying Lee Keun-ho is on. He’s a speedy striker who was the Asian player of the year in 2012. Rewind the clock Lee and make it happen…Kim Young-gwon hits a skiddy free-kick which Igor Akinfeev scurries out at the second attempt. Are we going to have a double goalless draw? Looks like it…”

David from South Wales (via text): Looks like the ‘spiritual home of football’ needs a few prayers saying for this World Cup. It is early but my my it is boring. give points for diving it would make it more interesting.

Tom Rostance: “David, the first 12 games or so were all excellent! Keep the faith…”

Martin Keown: “That is awful from the Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, you look at the distance and it really should be food and drink from there. South Korea have got to test him.”

Tom Rostance: “South Korea keeper Jung Sung-ryong has touched the ball 11 times in 58 minutes.”

Jung Sung-ryong
Credit: BBC Sport

“Here he is! The man who had a great Euro 2012 but has gone a bit off the rails since, Russia number 10 Alan Dzagoev is on to replace Oleg Shatov. Has Dzagoev still got it? He was linked with loads of good clubs a year or two back.”

Martin Keown: “I was really impressed by Alan Dzagoev in Russia’s pre-World Cup friendlies. He can really add something to the team, and for me he should have started.”

Jon Harris (via text): Capello has made another team in his own image. Russia look dour and lacking in ideas, verve and creativity.

Tom Rostance: “One of these sides could end up facing Germany in the knockout phases. They would get taken apart.”

John Hartson: “This is a different type of surface than the afternoon pitches. In the afternoons they are dry but the night pitches, with the dew, the goalkeepers are finding it hard to hold the ball. We have seen it a few times tonight, the keepers can’t grab hold of the balls.”

Liam: This game is worse than watching paint dry.

Patters: I painted the wall in my living room before kick off. It’s drying nicely.

Goal!!! South Korea scored (Lee Keun-ho – 68′)

Tom Rostance: “Great cross! Dmitry Kombarov delivers a brilliant ball in from the left which Jung Sung-ryong has to come and punch clear, and he does that really well. Into the last quarter. It needs ratcheting up eight notches in terms of quality.”


John Hartson: “What an error this is by Igor Akinfeev. It is straight down his throat, his hands go out to catch the ball and it goes through his hands like a knife through butter. An unbelievable mistake. South Korea have deserved the lead though.”

Martin Keown: “You have got to shoot from distance – ask the question. But that is absolutely awful from Igor Akinfeev. It should be an easy save but the technique is all wrong, he should be taking that into his body. Shocking goalkeeping. You look at him there and you wonder if he is going to be able to carry on. He is disconsolate. You can’t say it wasn’t coming, his handling has been awful.”

Igor Akinfeev
Credit: BBC Sport

Tom Rostance: “Well it was going to take something like that to liven up this game. One for Nick Hancock’s next Christmas video. The mother of all bloopers.”

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Reece: The keepers have been trying their best to give us a goal, eventually Akinfeev yielded. Thought Jung was going to be the culprit.

Alex: What is it with Fabio Capello and goalkeepers in the first game of a World Cup?

Mark Chapman (Match of the Day Presenter): “Look how happy a goal has made these 3 in the #bbcworldcup studio!”

Credit: BBC Sport and Mark Chapman

Tom Rostance: “We’ve got a thriller on our hands! The two scrappiest goals of the World Cup! Alan Dzagoev’s shot is parried out by Jung Sung-ryong, Kim Young-gwon smashes the clearance into the face of Andrey Yeshchenko, and it falls for substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who has a tap-in. He’s only been on a few minutes…”

John Hartson: “It is the goalkeeper again. Jung parries it, can’t hold the ball and, the record goalscorer with this goal, Kerzhakov has two attempts and swivels and shoots home. The South Korean goalkeeper has to get hold it, the ball has caused all sorts of problems in this weather.”

Tom Rostance: “Twenty percent of goals in this World Cup have been scored by substitutes. Let’s leave Wayne Rooney on the bench after all.”

John Hartson: “This is a far cry from the dull first half. Lots of attempts on goal, lots of parries and both teams are really going for it.”

Martin Keown: “Both teams are going for this now. I’m still worried about this Russian goalkeeper. If you’re South Korea you just want to shoot now. Alan Dzagoev, making those runs in from deep brings a bit more pace and bit more cutting edge to this Russia side. Who wants it most now? Conditions will be hurting the players. Who is bravest?”

Tom Rostance: “Aleksandr Kerzhakov has now joined Vladimir Beschastnykh as a top goalscorer for Russia with 26 goals.”

Dean: When that second goal went in you could hear the Russian goalkeeper’s sigh of relief from the UK.

Steve from Coleraine (via text message): Lay off the big man…Igor Akinfeev may just have saved the World Cup! After Algeria’s anti-football and Brazil’s goalless draw, the Russian keeper took it upon himself to kickstart this game (and this tournament) back into life!

Tom Rostance: “Into the last five minutes. Any more clangers out there? Alexander Kokorin heads over the top as Russia throw a final cross into the mixer. The quality on display tonight has been very poor, but I’ll remember that South Korean goal for a long, long time…”

Martin Keown: “I want to see the Russians taking more chances in possession. They have to move the ball much quicker and make the pitch smaller – go close to the man with the ball.”


Tom on text: I think Akinfeev may have forgotten where he was and what he was doing but at least he made this game interesting.

Twitter Debate: #bbcworldcup

Scott: I think there’s a hint of offside in Russia’s goal.

John: Is it wrong to go to sleep a few minutes early? Or is that like leaving the ground early?

Tom Rostance: “Alex Kokorin gets in behind, he has a man inside – but he holds down circle for far too long and hugely over hits the cross! Woeful.”

John Hartson: “I think both teams have to be fairly happy with the point.”







6 thoughts on “Brazil 2014 World Cup | Russia vs. South Korea

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