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Capello: We can accept Akinfeev's mistake

The Italian backed his shot stopper after he committed an embarrassing error to allow South Korea to take a second-half lead in their Group G encounter.

Fabio Capello refused to blame Igor Akinfeev for his blunder against South Korea, insisting that a top-quality keeper is entitled to make mistakes.

The Russians fell behind after 68 minutes when Lee Keun-ho's long-distance drive was fumbled by the CSKA Moscow shot-stopper before Aleksandr Kerzhakov rescued a point for the Eastern Europeans.

Capello, speaking after the game, which was played the day before his birthday, said that there was no need to dwell on the incident and threw his full support behind his player.

"A keeper always has the chance to make a mistake," the 68-year-old Italian told Sport Ekspress. "We can accept a mistake from a great goalkeeper, which is what Akinfeev is. We were more restricted than we usually are. And only after a conceded goal did the team play as well as they could. But even in the first half we had four chances in front of goal.

"However we did manage to avert the threat of our opponent. And at 1-1, we did everything to score a second goal. I thanked the players after the match for the reaction to the goal going in. This is the best birthday gift I could have had.

"The team has the will and is capable of high quality. During the break, I pointed out the errors, goals and objectives and the players have used my instructions during the match."

Russia has won the right to host the 2018 World Cup and, though Capello confessed he is already looking forward to the tournament, he was guarded about his side's prospects unless changes are made in Russian domestic football.

"I do not have a magic wand," the Italian continued when asked if they could win in 2018. "Coffee grounds cannot help me guess. I will say what I have now. There are young, interesting players that will come soon. But I need help from the federation.

"This applies to the limit on foreign players. At the moment a team can play seven foreigners at a time, so I only have a choice of 64 players for the Russia national team."

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