Hope fading for Canada, Congo
© Foto-net

Canada and Congo go into their final Group A match at the Commonwealth Stadium without a victory so far and three points (by a three-goal margin) on Sunday are key to the hosts' survival.

The game
Canada v Congo, Edmonton, 8 July, 18.00 (local time)

The stakes
Canada have no points to their names but at the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup they were in an identical position and ended up going as far as the quarter-finals. Nothing less than a win by a three-goal margin will suffice for Canada while Congo go through for sure with a win.

The players
Canada report no injury concerns but defender Kent O'Connor serves a ban after receiving two cautions in the opening matches. Congo will be without the suspended Yann Kombo after his red card against Chile on Thursday, as well as fellow defender Oxence Mbani who has collected two yellows. Jacques Loparimi is set to come into the defence. Striker Franchel Ibara, scorer of Congo's only goal at the tournament so far, has a thigh muscle strain but is expected to be fit, as is defender Jules Ondjola who is carrying a slight knock.

The past
This is the first meeting between the two countries at youth level, though the senior sides met in a friendly in Beijing back in 1984, when Canada ran out 2-0 winners.

The birthdays
Canada midfielder Christian Nunez celebrated his 19th birthday the day before the match, while Congo's Loparimi will not only be celebrating his return to the starting line-up as he will also be 19 three days after the Canada game.

The words
"In 2003 we were in a really similar situation to the one we are in now, which is no points after the first two games. We won the last match then went through as the third-placed team, so we are not necessarily looking at Sunday as our last game together as a group. We will do everything we can to prepare ourselves for the Congo game and try to win it, then we will see where we stand after that." Dale Mitchell, Canada coach.

"The players were a little bit down after the Chile game but the next morning we had a good training session to recover. At the beginning it was a bit difficult but the players ended the session laughing again. We will discuss what to expect from Canada but mainly we will focus on our own qualities to bring our confidence back. We are conscious that the pressure is on Canada and not Congo for this game." Eddie Hudanski, Congo coach.