The last match in Group C between Portugal and the United States is also primed to be the tensest of all. After 36 minutes on the sand, the victors will be confirmed as one of the eight best outfits on the planet - and the losers will be packing their bags.
United States - Portugal, Tuesday 6 November, 12:30 (local time)
Both teams picked up wins against Iran after succumbing to Spain, but as they prepare to meet it is the Americans who sit in second spot. Portugal boast just two points after needing a penalty shoot-out to beat Iran, and if losing the clasico to Spain was not worrying enough, star man Madjer has yet to find his best form.
Roberto Ceciliano's troops have nothing to lose, on the
other hand. Drawn in a group containing two of the best teams in
the world, nobody expected them to survive, but their courageous
victory over Iran has raised ambitions and handed them the chance
to qualify. They may not be able to match the Portuguese in terms
of technical artistry, however they will once again bring their
impressive solidarity to bear.
Two yellow cards for Portugal's Belchior mean he is suspended. Ronnie Silva misses out for the United States for the same reason, but Raphael Xexeo returns after serving a ban of his own.
The two countries previously crossed paths in Rio in 2005, with the Europeans running out 9-3 winners.
Even though we still have a lot of work to do, our goal remains winning the title. We need to stay concentrated and leave our hearts out on the pitch in our next match if needs be. Jose Mateus, Portugal coach