Nigeria v South Korea preview
South Korea and Nigeria still harbour hopes of progressing
Last Updated: June 22, 2010 11:04am
South Korea head into Tuesday night's World Cup Group B clash with Nigeria knowing a victory would surely be enough to send them through to the last 16 - but the Super Eagles cannot be ruled out completely.
Huh Jung-moo's Taegeuk Warriors, bidding to reach the second round for the first time on foreign soil, are second in Group B alongside Greece on three points while Nigeria are bottom of the pile having lost their two previous games.
Provided Greece fail to beat leaders and hot favourites Argentina in the other pool game on Tuesday night, then South Korea will progress with a victory.
Nothing less than three points will do for Nigeria and they must also rely on Diego Maradona's men beating the Greeks if they are to sneak into the knockout stages.
South Korea followed up their impressive 2-0 win over Greece with a heavy 4-1 defeat to a rampant Argentina but Jung-moo does not think his side will be affected too much ahead of this decisive third game.
"We are simply looking forward to progressing to the round of 16," he said.
"We left behind us the game against Argentina and our only focus is on beating Nigeria.
"My players are confident and are ready to play this important game. I believe in my players and I think we can do a good job."
Jung-moo also suggested he could make tactical alterations for the game against Nigeria.
"We have a different strategy for each match," he added.
"Perhaps we were a little bit defensive when playing against Argentina.
"But I don't want my players to focus on just attacking against Nigeria. I want my team to play a balanced game in order to win."
Nigeria have so far failed to shine although they had looked well placed against Greece in their second match when leading 1-0 but Sani Kaita then crazily got sent off and that effectively cost the Super Eagles' hopes of victory.
Greece came form a goal down to win 2-1, adding to Nigeria's opening-game 1-0 loss to Argentina - a game in which goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was the star performer.
But coach Lars Lagerback is confident his side will finally show their worth in Durban, saying: "Let's hope we can show that an African team can play well and get a result.
"It's going to be difficult. But this is a World Cup and every game is tough.
"I nevertheless believe we can win. I think the team has the right attitude.
"We have a really good team and I hope we can show it to the world tomorrow."
Lagerback has not ruled out making changes to the side that lost 2-1 against Greece and could turn to Kanu.
"I could make changes," he said. "Everybody in the team wants to play this game.
"Kanu is in the picture and it's quite possible he could play tomorrow."
The 61-year-old is confident left-back Taye Taiwo and Uwa Echiejile will feature in Tuesday's match after both players sustained minor injuries against Greece.