Big names eye last eight
Title contenders Uruguay, Portugal and Italy could all make sure of a place in the last eight when they step out on Saturday for their second group matches. For hosts France it is a case of getting back on track against Iran, after their shock defeat to Senegal.
The big match
Senegal-Uruguay, 14.45 (local time)
At the outset of the tournament, few people would have predicted that so much would be hanging on this Group A encounter. While the Celeste's 6-1 win over Iran came as no surprise, the Africans caused the first major upset of Marseille 2008 when they downed France on penalties after a pulsating 5-5 draw. Inspired by goalkeeper Al Seyni Ndiaye, the Lions of Teranga stood firm at the back throughout a tense encounter, drawing on hitherto unseen reserves of experience to post a notable triumph. Facing the African champions will be a Uruguay side boosted by the return of linchpins Pampero and Matias from suspension. Whoever comes out on top will be all but assured a place in the next round.
The other games
For all James Naka's confidence ahead of Sunday's clash with Portugal, the task facing Solomon Islands is daunting. Ze Miguel's battery of stars may have taken a while to get going against El Salvador, but once they clicked into gear they showed their ability to sweep opponents aside, surging to an 8-2 win that included seven unanswered goals in the last two periods.
Group B rivals Italy produced a carbon-copy performance against the Pacific islanders in Thursday's 7-4 win, and will be out for more points against FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup debutants El Salvador in the other game in the section. The Central Americans have absolutely nothing to lose and will be doing everything in their power to make life difficult for the Italians.
The final game on Saturday's card is sure to attract a full house as Eric Cantona's home favourites attempt to get back in the running. That reverse against the Senegalese means the France have no option but to see off Iran if they are to maintain realistic hopes of advancing to the quarters. After hitting the woodwork four times in their group opener, the French will be hoping fortune is smiling on them once more in what would appear to be a straightforward assignment.
Player to watch
Luis Rodas (SLV)
Anyone wondering how El Salvador managed to get the better of outfits as experienced as USA and Canada in the CONCACAF qualification competition need only look at Rodas's performance against Portugal for an answer. Considering the Portuguese rained down 27 shots on target, their return of eight goals was a paltry one, the main reason for that being the agile Salvadorian keeper. If the Italians are to rack up a similar haul, they know they will have to work for it.
What they said
"Our performance against Senegal was not that great but we'll only be taking stock of everything at the end of the tournament. We did well to come back from three goals down and we'll be going into the Iran game with that same attitude. I am very confident about the game. We're going to win and we will qualify for the next round," Eric Cantona, France coach.