Today’s lunch: Belgian Waffles

June 26, 2014

Korea will be out to win by two or more goals in hopes of miraculously advancing 

(Illustration - Alison Lee)

(Illustration – Alison Lee)

The South Korean soccer team arrived in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, the eve of its must-win match against Belgium at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

After losing to Algeria 4-2 in Group H on Sunday, the 23-man squad, coached by Hong Myung-bo, had two days of training at its base camp of Foz do Iguacu, about 850 kilometers southwest of here, and flew in to get ready for a practice scheduled later Wednesday at Arena Corinthians, the venue of the upcoming match.

The kickoff between the 57th-ranked South Korea and 11th-ranked Belgium will be 1 p.m. PT Thursday (5 a.m. Friday in Seoul).

Having earned just one point after two matches, South Korea must defeat Belgium and hope the other Group H contest on Thursday, between Russia and Algeria, goes its way.

If Algeria wins, whatever South Korea does against Belgium becomes irrelevant. 

The best and the simplest scenario for South Korea to advance is to win by two goals, while Russia defeats Algeria by just one goal at the same time.

Belgium has already qualified for the knockout stage with two consecutive victories and their coach Marc Wilmots has said he will rest some of his regulars against South Korea.

If South Korea and Russia win on Thursday, the two will go to a tiebreaker to see who will join Belgium. In the case of a South Korean win and a draw between Russia and Algeria, then South Korea and Algeria will go to a tiebreaker.

The first tiebreaker is the goal difference, followed by the goals scored. Algeria has scored five and given up four (+1). Russia has scored one and given up two (-1). South Korea has netted three goals and conceded five (-2).

Coach Hong used an identical starting lineup for the first two matches but changes may be coming, particularly in defense, after a disastrous match against Algeria.