Fans at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna are in for a real showdown on Sunday 1 November, with everything to play for when Korea Republic and Algeria play their third Group F match. The team from the Far East need the three points to make sure of their place in the Round of 16, while their North African opponents also need a win if they are to have any chance of getting through, and even then they will be reliant on the other result in the group going their way. Both countries will have to put the disappointment of their previous matches behind them and prove that they have the mental strength to go with their undoubted footballing skills.
The two teams have enjoyed varying fortunes thus far in Nigeria. Despite only managing three points from their first two games, Korea Republic have caught the eye with their attractive and tactically astute football and have proved that they can hold their own among the top teams. Coach Kwang-Jong Lee's men dominated for long periods in both their matches so far - a 3-1 win over Uruguay and an unfortunate 2-1 loss at the hands of Italy. Algeria on the other hand are yet to get off the mark, both in terms of points and goals. Coach Otmane Ibrir's charges looked promising in their opening match against Italy when they only went down 1-0, but put in a poor performance next time out against Uruguay, losing 2-0.
The Koreans, who finished runners-up in the recent Asian tournament, will therefore start the match as firm favourites. They are strong up front and play at a hundred miles an hour, so it will be interesting to see whether they still have enough left in the tank for their final group match. Algeria, who also came second in their continental competition, will no doubt be looking to keep things very tight at the back and look to hit the Koreans hard on the counter, with attacking midfielder Abdelhakim Bezzaz doubtless hoping to score his team's first goal of the tournament.
23 - the number of years since Algeria were last at a FIFA tournament. It was back at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™, but the North Africans could only manage a draw and two defeats in the group phase, to the disappointment of the country's 32 million inhabitants.
I think that South Korea have the best attackers of all our group opponents, so we will really have to be on our toes in defence. I can guarantee that each one of us will be giving it 100 percent to try to defeat South Korea, and maybe we'll do just that and qualify for the next stage.
Mohammed Cherchar, Algeria central defender
We were the better team against Italy, even though we lost. We just couldn't take our chances, and that was the big difference between the two teams. We'll be going all out against Algeria to be more ruthless in front of goal, and I'm confident that we'll pull it off.
Kwang-Jong Lee, Korea Republic coach