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

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.

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