Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Russia, Korea draw 1-1. Worst match of 2014 Fifa World Cup?

The quick passing and movement of the Koreans was neutralised by the mature tactical discipline of the Russians. Russia were very solid and systematic in their approach while Korea were technically superior, save for their horrible shooting.

There was a degree of admirable patience by the European team as they tried to deal with the tricky customers. The Asians proved to be mentally prepared to fight as they chased the ball around and tracked down their opponents. They covered well for each other and engaged in committed tackles to win a reasonable share of the midfield contest.

Korea mounted sustained pressure at the end of the first half, asking a few question in the Russian defence. The Russians had to enjoy their best spell at the beginning of the second half, though their possession was restricted to the outside of the penalty area as the opposition constantly thwarted their raids.

After that reasonable control of the match by Russia, it turned out to be a dull draw-bound match. There were moments both teams competed for the worst finishing, decision-making and goalkeeping. The match deteriorated to amateur levels and a few African teams could have fancied their chances, and Algeria should be able to salvage two wins against the two.

Then came the crazy moment, which started with ball played to Sung-Ryong Jung, the keeper, and then there were a few exchanges on the right side, a temporary loss of possession and then a long ball into midfield. K. Lee picked up that ball from the centre circle and raced the entire remaining bit of the field, checked left and then right, and with no support or charging man coming to close him down, let loose a rocket from outside of the box. Akinfeev let the straight ball slip in his palms and over his shoulder, for the most embarrassing goal that a goalkeeper can concede.

In the true spirit of competition, the Koreans returned the favour, but in a different fashion. They let the ball into the box, failing to clear the ball and mark the recipient. The goalkeeper blocked the first attempt into the traffic and while still lying on the ground, Kerzhakov stabbed it home from close range.

Basic elementary errors characterised the match which has no competition in being the worst of the 2014 Brazil Fifa World Cup.