Comeback kids lock horns
© Foto-net

Both Spain and the Czech Republic had to rally from two goals down, against Brazil and Japan respectively, to reach the last eight and their never-say-die spirit will be put to the test again when they meet each other in the quarter-finals at the Commonwealth Stadium.

The game
Spain v Czech Republic, Edmonton, 14 July, 17.45 (local time)

The stakes
The final four is the preferred destination for both teams but while one of them will be staying in Edmonton for the semi-finals against either Austria or USA on 18 July, one side will be heading back to Europe.

The players
Jakub Mares is suspended for the Czech Republic after coming on as a second half substitute in the penalty shoot-out win against Japan in the Round of 16. They also have three players carrying injuries in Tomas Oklestek (shoulder), Lukas Kuban (leg muscle) and Ondrej Kudela (thigh), of which Oklestek is the most doubtful to feature. Spain coach Gines Melendez says a few of his squad have knocks but he does have any major fitness concerns and should have everyone available for selection.

The past
The two sides met at U-20 level in a friendly in March this year, which Spain won 3-1 on home soil. They also drew 1-1 in a qualifier for the FIFA World Youth Championship 2003. At senior level, Spain met the former Czechoslovakia at the 1962 FIFA World Cup™ and the Czechs won their only contest in a FIFA final competition 1-0.

The words
"It will be a very, very tough game against the Czech Republic. It might even be harder than the one we had against Brazil. The morale is high because we have been playing very well and if we win we are on our way to the semi-finals. We are a very united team." Gines Melendez, Spain coach

"To be in the last eight is a little bit of a dream come true but we are more than dreaming now. We would like to stay in Canada for as long as possible, hopefully going as far as the final. I don't care if we win in 90 minutes, extra-time or on penalties again... we just want to win." Miroslav Soukoup, Czech Republic coach

"It was very important to me to score against Brazil and I'm looking forward to playing against the Czech Republic. There are no easy games in a World Cup and every team does their best, so we will probably see a lot of matches won by the minimum difference." Alberto Bueno, Spain forward

"We are happy to have made it as far as the quarter-finals but we are not satisfied at leaving it there. I don't know what we can expect in the future but there is still room for improvement and I hope we can do that as the tournament progresses." Jan Simunek, Czech Republic captain