Fabio Capello would have pictured Rob Green in Rustenburg as Igor Akinfeev treated the ball like a bar of soap to gift South Korea a goal remarkably similar to Clint Dempsey’s for the USA four years ago.
For a second World Cup in succession the Italian’s plans for an opening game were undone by a goalkeeping clanger.
This time it came in Cuiaba when substitute Lee Keun-Ho advanced without challenge and struck a shot that should have been gathered easily only for Akinfeev to horribly misuse his hands and allow the ball to topple over the line.
The Italian, who turned 68 as this match switched from Tuesday to Wednesday in Britain, acted quickly and sent on veteran striker Alexander Kerzhakov, who rescued a point almost instantly by tapping in a rebound after a brilliant run and shot by fellow substitute Alan Dzagoev 16 minutes from time.
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