Russia got the better of fellow FIFA World Cup finals contenders South Korea, with Fedor Smolov and Dmitri Tarasov hitting back in Dubai.
Full-back Igor Smolnikov and goalkeeper Yuri Lodygin made their debuts for Russia, and the FC Zenit custodian was on call from the off, intercepting Lee Chung-Yong's cross. However, he was beaten in the sixth minute after Tarasov – on his first appearance under Capello – missed a header from a corner, allowing Kim Shin-Wook to finish.
Russia were back on level terms by the ninth minute, Smolov picking up his first goal in any competition since 14 November 2012 after Jung Sung-Ryong failed to gather Aleksandr Samedov's centre. Lodygin was kept busy thereafter, while Aleksandr Ryazantsev came close to applying the finishing touch after sparkling interplay between Roman Shirokov and Viktor Fayzulin.
Substitutions in the second half helped Russia gain the upper hand, and they pressed their advantage just before the hour, Samedov finding FC Lokomotiv Moskva club-mate Tarasov's head from a corner for the defensive midfielder to make it 2-1. South Korea had their chances to equalise but substitute Kim Bo-Kyung squandered the best of them.