Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was at the center of his team's first game after he let a soft shot through his hands in a 1-1 draw against South Korea. "It was a kid's mistake," he said. Fortunately for him, coach Fabio Capello says it won't cost him his place in the starting lineup.
Russia captain Vasily Berezutsky attributed his side's labored performance to first-night nerves for a national team that hadn't been at the World Cup since 2002.
"There was an adrenaline factor because no one has played at this level before," Berezutsky said. "Now everybody is calm and ready."
Venue: Rio de Janeiro. Kickoff 1 p.m. local time (noon in New York, 5 p.m. London, 1 a.m. Tokyo)
FINDING THE TARGET
South Korea probably won't get a better chance to take three points from a game at this World Cup, so expect a more attacking performance when it faces Algeria.
The 2002 co-hosts were fortunate to get a draw with Russia, but a victory would put them in a good position to qualify from Group H.
Coach Hong Myung-bo is under no illusions. "We are going to have to play a different game compared to the Russian match," he said. "There will be opportunities to score."
Algeria's players will not need reminding about the stakes, having already lost to Belgium.
The one good omen for the Algerians at the Estadio Beira-Rio is that they've already scored a goal in Brazil, albeit a penalty, having failed to find the net in all three games in South Africa four years ago.
Venue: Porto Alegre. Kickoff 4 p.m. local time (3 p.m. in New York, 8 p.m. in London, 4 a.m. in Tokyo).