Game on: Lineups and talking points for South Korea vs. Algeria
Algeria got off to a fantastic start in their first match, with Sofiane Feghouli converting a penalty to end their run of a run of 506 minutes of World Cup play without a goal. Alas, Belgium managed to rain on their parade, coming back to win 2-1. South Korea, too, found themselves with a surprising lead. Theirs came courtesy of a major blunder from Igor Akinfeev, with the keeper pushing Lee Keun-ho’s shot along into the back of the net. Russia came back, however, and both sides left with a point.
What is everyone hoping for from this game? Quite frankly, one that is more interesting than the dull match between Belgium and Russia, which immediately proceeded it. Tune in at 3 p.m. ET to find out if Algeria and South Korea are able to provide more excitement.
South Korea: S R Jung, S Y Yun, Y G Kim, H M Son, C Y Park, Y Lee, J C Koo, K Y Han, S Y Ki, C Y Lee, J H Hong
Algeria: Mbolhi, Bouguerra, Halliche, Mesbah, Feghouli, Brahimi, Medjani, Slimani, Bentaleb, Djabou, Mandi
Will either side seize the day?
Both Algeria and South Korea played it safe in their first match, preferring to avoid defeat rather than take a risk. It paid off for South Korea, but Algeria’s loss puts them bottom of the group. Algeria may be more intent on attacking, as they could really use a result to keep their hopes of advancing alive.
Who will join Belgium in the knockout round?
Belgium are through to the next round. Who can hope to join them? If this one plays out to a draw, it’ll be South Korea on two points, and Russia and Algeria both with one. We could legitimately see three sides tied on two points come the end of the group stages.
Algeria is both solid defensively and has the ability to hit teams hard on the break. Expect them to allow South Korea to take control - but then maybe, just maybe, wrench it back through a solid counterattack.
One blogger’s prediction
I’ve failed to provide the correct answer each time I’ve been asked to make one. This seems like it has dull draw written all over it, so you should go put money on a 4-3 thriller.*
*Fake money, of course, unless you live in an area in which this is legal.