We can do better, says Capello

Fabio Capello was so pleased that Russia battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against South Korea in their World Cup Group H opener on Tuesday that he even allowed for an uncharacteristic birthday celebration.

Capello, who turned 68 on Wednesday, thanked the team for their reaction for coming back to get a draw.

"I thanked the team for their reaction and told them that was the greatest birthday gift I could receive," Capello told reporters after his first World Cup finals match as the Russia coach.

"It means the team is great and they can do it."

But Capello was not able to calm the nerves of a team making their first World Cup finals appearance since 2002.

"In the first part of the game we were quite narrow, we were concerned, we were worried, we had problems getting the ball around," he said.

Alexander Kerzhakov came to the rescue for Russia, scoring three minutes after coming on as a substitute.

"We could have won the game," Capello said.

"(But) there was a wonderful reaction by our team after the goal we suffered. We developed a crescendo, we grew,” he added.

The equaliser also made it easier for Capello to accept  Akinfeev's mistake. "I am very happy with the work of Akinfeev because he is a great goalkeeper," Capello, the former England coach, said.

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