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Russia gets 1-1 tie with South Korea despite goalie's blunder

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Alexander Kerzhakov's goal gets Russia even after goalie Igor Akinfeev botches routine save

Alexander Kerzhakov scored on one of his first touches after coming on as a substitute, lifting Russia to a 1-1 draw with South Korea on Tuesday in a World Cup match marked by the first big goalkeeping error of the tournament.

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev spilled Lee Keun-Ho's speculative long-range shot into his own net to give South Korea a 68th-minute lead at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba in Group H.

But Kerzhakov bailed his teammate out, turning in a shot from close range in the 74th minute — three minutes after coming on as a substitute — to rescue a point for Russia in a poor-quality match.

Akinfeev stayed on the ground inside his own net, head in his hands, after making his blunder, clearly embarrassed after dropping what was a routine save on a shot from about 30 yards. He was consoled by a couple of teammates who patted him on the back, but could soon join in the celebrations when Kerzhakov tied it soon after.

The explosive six-minute spell that featured both goals was not in keeping with the rest of a fairly mundane game characterized by slow buildup play, poor passing and wayward finishing.

A point leaves both teams behind Belgium, which beat Algeria 2-1 earlier Tuesday.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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