Group H: Russia vs. South Korea
- June 17, 6 p.m. ET
- CBC TV, live streaming at cbc.ca/fifaworldcup
What's at stake
Each team wants crucial early-game points in Group H.
Korea was thrashed 4-0 by Ghana in its last World Cup warm-up. The Koreans have to find their feet — and their confidence — again in this opening match.
- Russia: Alexander Kerzhanov. This seasoned striker holds the all-time goal record in the Russian Premier League. He will be key in Russian attacks.
- South Korea: Son Heung-Min. A young midfielder, he is versatile in playing wide and in going forward with confidence.
What to watch for
Defence can be an issue for Korea, a weakness that Russia will want to exploit under Capello, who instills a high work-rate among his players.
These teams have played only once — Russia won 2-1 in a friendly last year. So they’ll spend some time feeling each other out as this game evolves.
They said it
- “You have to play a system according to the type of players that you have,” Fabio Capello told FIFA.com.
- "It`s true the Russian team are quite technical and strong. Maybe the Russians are physically stronger than Asian sides like us but we are well prepared for this game, we`re focused," Korean defender Lee Yong told india.com.
The Big Number
5 — A Russian player, Oleg Salenko, holds the World Cup record for scoring five goals in one game — a 6-1 drubbing of Cameroon in 1994.
Obligatory fun fact
South Korean coach Hong Myung-Bo, 45, helped lift the South Koreans over Spain in penalties at the 2002 World Cup, sending the surprise country to the final four.