Football / World Cup USA '94: Unhappy Vogts

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The Independent Online
SOUTH KOREA could suffer in Dallas today if Germany decide the time has come to exert their authority in this World Cup.

Although a draw guarantees the holders a second-round place, nothing less than a convincing win will be enough for Germany or their critics, following two below-par performances. A single-goal victory over Bolivia and a draw with Spain has caused friction in the German camp and an unhappy coach, Berti Vogts, is threatening changes.

The playmaker, Andy Moller, or his fellow midfielder, Thomas Hassler, might have to start Germany's final Group C game on the bench as a frustrated Vogts tries to lift his players out of a state bordering on inertia. Vogts has said he will drop one of his three midfielders to make way for the return of Karlheinz Riedle or Rudi Voller in a two-man attack with Jurgen Klinsmann.

However, the defensive midfielder, Thomas Strunz, was injured during training on Saturday. Vogts may have to revert to the side that played Bolivia and keep both Moller and Hassler in the midfield with Matthias Sammer if Strunz does not recover. 'We are going to have to work hard for 90 minutes against South Korea, or we could have problems,' Vogts said.

The Korean coach, Kim Ho, plans to field his fittest players for a game that will be played in mid-afternoon. 'Every player is in a fighting spirit,' he said. 'We will have to rely on our speed. That is the only way we can win.'

After draws against the Germans and South Korea, Spain must make sure of victory in Chicago against Bolivia, who are struggling with injuries and suspensions. The South Americans will be without the midfielder, Julio Baldivieso, and the defender, Luis Cristaldo, who are both suspended; while William Ramallo and Vladimir Soria are less than fully fit.

The Spaniards will be without the defender, Rafael Alkorta, who strained a calf muscle during training. Julio Salinas should shake off a groin strain, and take his place up front alongside Jose Luis Caminero.