Korea Republic and Algeria will lock horns on Sunday, both teams looking to record their first win in the 2014 World Cup following disappointing results in their opening matches.
Both teams led against Russia and Belgium, respectively, but the Belgians scored twice in the second half to leave the Algerians empty-handed and Russia were able to draw with the Koreans following a strike from substitute Aleksandr Kerzhakov.
Algeria put together a strong defensive effort against the favoured Belgians but lacked any sort of edge moving forward, while Korea will look to build on a solid performance from their midfield players.
Date: Sunday, June 22
Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre
Both Belgium and Russia struggled tremendously breaking down the Algerian and Korean defences in their opening fixtures, a testament to the kind of defensive prowess both teams possess.
Korea Republic travelled to Brazil with a relatively young and experienced squad, and their fearlessness moving forward against the Russian team was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for neutral viewers.
Russia gave the Koreans space in midfield, and while the team wasn't able to muster more than a handful of chances, they refused to sit back and let their opponents hold on to the ball.
Against Algeria, however, spaces will be tighter, and per The Associated Press' Chris Brummitt (for Yahoo Sports), assistant coach Ton du Chatinier expects to find spaces in another part of the pitch:
When there's a lot of space behind them, we'll have a lot of opportunities to score. 'It's also a counterattack team. They also wait, wait and wait, and it's important for Korea that we don't make stupid mistakes.
The Desert Warriors may not have Russia's sheer quality in the centre of the pitch, but they showed against the Belgians that they are as athletic as they are tactically sound.
They gave up very little space around the box, and the one time they gave Belgium a counter-attacking opportunity, it led to Dries Mertens' winning goal.
The loss to the Red Devils was to be expected, but with just two matches left in the group stages, Algeria now have no choice but to open up their tactical approach and attack their opponents.
Sofiane Feghouli proved to be a handful for the Belgian defence during the first 45 minutes, while Saphir Taider and young Nabil Bentaleb held their own in the passing game.
The team's top performer, however, was Carl Medjani, who played his role as one-man wrecking crew in front of the defence to perfection. Medjani's ability to win possession allows Taider to step out further forward, opening up spaces for Algeria to attack.
Ki Sung-Yueng more than held his own against Russia's star-studded midfield unit, and his passing will be sorely needed against an Algerian team that loves to keep spaces limited when the opponents have the ball.
His task will be made even more difficult by the absence of Ha Dae-Sung, who will miss the match due to injury, per to The Korea Times.
A draw would do neither team any good, but a Belgian win over Russia would open the door for the winners of this tie to make a surprise run at the knockout stages. Both teams will be forced to leave their comfort zones a bit, and in all likelihood, the team bravest in attack will walk away with the win on Sunday.
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