22 June 2014

Algeria: Upbeat Mood in Algerian Camp

Photo: CAF
Algerians celebrate qualifying for the World Cup.

Algeria will have taken plenty of heart from their clash with Belgium in their World Cup Group H opener, but know they will likely have to beat South Korea if they are to advance to the second round for the first time in their history.

OVERVIEW

Algeria held Belgium well for 70 minutes in their first game before slipping to a 2-1 defeat, a result that was perhaps harsh on them in the end.

They are a side that like to stay compact and organised, but were undone by two very good, if very different, Belgian goals.

South Korea will carry nowhere near the threat of the European side, and come into this tournament in some poor form.

Their 1-1 draw with Russia in the opener was a good enough result but with Belgium still to come in the pool, this is the big one for them.

Algeria say they have taken plenty of positives from their first game and mood in the camp since then has been good.

They did at least end a run of 506 minutes without a goal at the finals, even if Sofiane Feghouli's effort was from the penalty spot.

Coach Vahid Halilhodžić is not expected to make any changes to his starting line-up as he believes he got the mix right, and that it was just the execution towards the end of the game that was missing.

South Korea are free of injuries and are unlikely to make any major changes to their side, though Lee Keun-ho might expect to start after he scored off the bench against Russia.

KEY PLAYERS

Saphir Taïder (Algeria) - The 22-year-old midfielder is coming off a fine first season with Inter Milan and is a key part of the Algerian midfield. They will need to find a balancing act in this game between going for goals and remaining tight in defence and he will play his part in shoring up the centre of the park.

Ki Sung-yueng (South Korea) - The Swansea city midfielder, who can play down the centre of midfield or on the right, is a key creative spark in a South Korean side that can otherwise battle to carve open opportunities. He is only 25 but has vast experience at international level and a player with genuine pedigree.

WHAT THEY SAY

Rafik Halliche (Algeria defender) - "South Korea are a good team that plays a quick game in attack with good organisation, We have had the opportunity to view video footage of them and are confident we can counter them on the day. After the match against Belgium, we talked about the defeat among the players and we have promised to rectify the result against Korea."

Ji Dong-won (South Korea striker) - "I watched the game between Algeria and Belgium. Algeria's attacking players are quick and each has their own quality. Algeria are not an easy target. If we play the match [against Algeria] like we did with Russia, then our chances are good."

MATCH FACTS

Date: Sunday, June 22

Kick-off: 19h00 (GMT)

Venue: Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Referee: Wilmar Roldán (Colombia)

ALGERIA HEAD-TO-HEAD VS SOUTH KOREA

P W D L GF GA

1 0 0 1 0 2

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