Group E rivals Czech Republic and Panama will go head-to-head in Montreal with one aim in mind: all three points. Victory for either side would edge them through to the next round, as long as Korea DPR fail to defeat reigning champions Argentina in Ottawa.
To go through to the last 16, both teams need to win and hope that the Albicelestes avoid defeat against Korea DPR. Unfortunately, the mood in the Czech and Panamanian camps is far from buoyant. The European outfit let victory slip through their grasp in the final minute of their game with the Asian champions, while the Canaleros were dealt a hefty 6-0 thumping by a rampant Argentina side. Will the lure of the Round of 16 be enough to help them raise their game?
Both teams are free from injury and suspension, although Czech players Lukas Kuban, Jan Simunek, Ondrej Kudela, Martin Fenin and Petr Janda are all on a yellow card. Another would rule them out of their team's second-round clash, should they make it that far. Panama quartet Marvin Mitchell, Javier Gonzalez, Gabriel Torres and Armando Cooper are also walking the suspension tightrope.
The two nations have never faced off at a FIFA competition. In fact, the FIFA U-20 World Cup is the only FIFA competition Panama have appeared at, having qualified for the last three editions of the elite event. The statistics are also bleak reading for Czech Republic supporters, who have not seen their national team reach the second round of a FIFA tournament since the FIFA World Youth Championship Argentina 2001.
"It hurts not to have won the game against Korea, but even so we know that qualification for the next round is still in our hands. A win against Panama would set us on our way and I think we can do it." Miroslav Soukup, Czech Republic coach.
"Nobody likes to lose the way we did against Argentina, but we've still got one last chance to make history and qualify for the next phase. We've got no choice but to lift ourselves in time for the game, learn from our past mistakes and treat the game against the Czechs as if it were the final. Then, we'd have to hope for a favour from Argentina against North Korea." Julio Dely Valdes, Panama coach.