US v Algeria, Today, 3pm, BBCi
The United States will be playing to atone for the past and offer encouragement for the future when they meet Algeria in the other Group C match here today, according to their captain Carlos Bocanegra. Having scored more goals than England – three to one – they know a win will put them through to the second round and a draw could still do so.
Four years, ago they finished bottom of their group and Bocanegra admitted last night: "We had a bad outing in 2006. It's in the back of your mind that you work so hard and train for so long, and it can be over so quickly if you don't advance.
"As for the longer-term future of football in the US, he said: "Every time we've played a World Cup it's contributed to the interest. Over the last four years it's become increasingly popular and I hope after this game we'll have even more fans in the USA."
Having recovered so strongly from a 2-0 deficit at half-time in the last game against Slovenia to draw – they also had a good goal disallowed in the last minute – the Americans are confident of progressing. Their coach Bob Bradley, whose son Michael has been outstanding as a central midfielder in both previous group matches, is never one to shout the odds but he believes they will carry the momentum and confidence of that impressive second half into this afternoon's game. "As you move from one game to another, you try to take certain positives," he said. "We felt very good about the effort put into the second half and if we can build on that, that's important."
Striker Robert Findley is suspended, so Edson Buddle is likely to start.
Algeria would be well-placed, though not certain, to qualify if they won. Having failed to score so far, they are not surprisingly looking to be "more efficient in attack" according to coach Rabah Saadane.Reuse content