Wednesday, June 23, 2010 (All times Eastern)
United States (0-0-2) vs. Algeria (0-1-1) 10 a.m.
Pretoria, South Africa (Sports Network) - The United States went down two goals in the first half of its last World Cup match vs. Slovenia on Friday, five days after falling behind 1-0 to England to open the tournament.
The Americans came back to earn draws in both of those contests, but if the trend continues on Wednesday at Loftus Versfeld Stadium against Algeria in both teams' last Group C match, it could spell doom for the team's chances of advancing to the knockout round.
"We started the match poorly," U.S. attacker Landon Donovan said after his team earned a 2-2 draw with Slovenia. "We were tentative, I think we sat too deep which caused us problems. At that point you have no choice but to push the game. It's easy in hindsight to say we need to start that way, but we do need to start games that way. Especially going into our third game, we have no choice but to win if we want to advance so that's the way we're going to have to play."
A win over Algeria and the Americans guarantee their place in the second round. A draw and they need help, while a loss eliminates them.
Algeria also has a chance to advance after earning a scoreless draw vs. England in its last group match on Friday.
"I don't know what happened to [England]," Algeria coach Rabah Saadane said. "They weren't at their best - I thought they would be better. We could have won and so could they. Both teams had opportunities. I think it was a match where everyone tried as much as they could and it's a pity it was a draw and a goalless draw at that."
Algeria, which lost its opening match against Slovenia, needs to beat the Americans to have any chance to advance.
"We are pleased with the draw as the English underestimated us in the media over recent days," Algeria midfielder Ryad Boudebouz said. "We were determined to show them we were not just here for the ride and that we have a decent team. Now we have to play the United States and we know if we play like we did [vs. England] we can beat them."
The U.S. will be without striker Robbie Findley, who started the first two group matches, because of yellow card accumulation.
06/22 12:55:23 ET