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Double vision

by Karl Ritter
| June 23, 2010 9:00 PM

PRETORIA, South Africa — The compact defense that proved so effective against England won’t be enough when Algeria takes on the United States in a decisive Group C match today.

That’s why coach Rabah Saadane isn’t entirely sure about sticking to the same lineup that held a frustrated England to a 0-0 draw.

“The second option is perhaps to make a change,” Saadane said. “And it will be with the forwards.”

Most likely that means reintroducing striker Rafik Djebour in front of Algeria’s five-man midfield.

Djebour played in the 1-0 loss to group leader Slovenia but was replaced by the less offensive Karim Matmour against England.

Anything less than victory will spell the end of their tournament, and even if they win, the North Africans could be eliminated if group leader Slovenia loses narrowly to England.

The United States will advance to the round of 16 if it beats Algeria, while a draw would suffice if England loses to Slovenia. If the United States and England both draw, the Americans would advance provided they end up with more goals scored than the English — currently the U.S. has three goals, while England has one.

Uruguay 2, Mexico 1: At Rustenburg, South Africa , Uruguay won Group A and Mexico also advanced Tuesday after Luis Suarez scored in the 43rd minute to give the South Americans a 1-0 victory.

South Africa 2, France 1: At Bloemfontein, South Africa, Bongani Khumalo and Katlego Mphela scored first-half goals to lead South Africa over a France team in turmoil. Despite the win, Bafana Bafana became the first host nation to be eliminated in the group stage.

South Korea 2, Nigeria 2: At Durban, South Africa, South Korea reached the second round from Group B as Lee Jung-soo and Park Chu-young scored. Kalu Uche had given Nigeria the lead in the 12th minute, then Ayegbeni Yakubu netted a 69th-minute penalty kick to draw Nigeria level again — moments after Yakubu missed a wide open net.

Argentina 2, Greece 0: At Polokwane, South Africa, Martin Demichelis and Martin Palermo scored second-half goals to help Argentina win Group B. Argentina will play Mexico on Sunday in Johannesburg, while Greece was eliminated.

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