Belgium (2-0-0) vs. South Korea (0-1-1), 4 p.m. (ET)
06/26/2014 8:12 AM
06/26/2014 8:12 AM
Sao Paulo, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Group H leaders Belgium clash with the team currently in the basement of the group, South Korea, on Thursday at the Arena de Sao Paulo.
Despite the narrow margin of its victories, the Belgians are plenty happy to come away with six points from their first two matches, beating Algeria 2-1 in their opening match and Russia, 1-0, after an 88th-minute goal from substitute Divock Origi.
"Again, we've pulled a win out of the bag," said Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots after the Russia match. "The squad as a whole is more important than the starting lineup. Everybody's pulling in the same direction. We're going to need all of our players. The Belgian public can feel proud of their team. We've still got a lot of ambition."
South Korea was on the wrong end of a 4-2 defeat on Sunday at the hands of an Algerian side which scored three times in a span of just 12 minutes in the first half. The Koreans have yet to taste a victory, having drawn their opening contest against Russia.
"The result speaks for itself. We made mistakes in our preparation and during the match, but we need to look ahead now. There were lapses in concentration, particularly in defensive areas and we didn't play to our usual standard," said Korea coach Hong Myung-Bo. "Now we just need to move on now. We will do our best until the end."
South Korea will need to beat Belgium and have Russia beat a rejuvenated Algeria in order to have a chance to take the runner-up spot and reach the knockout stage.
Belgium will win the group with a win or draw, but the Red Devils will definitely be looking for a more complete effort in their final match before heading into the round of 16.
"We didn't play well, apart from the last 10 minutes," said forward Eden Hazard after the match with Russia.
Hazard and striker Romelu Lukaku have yet to score a goal in the tournament. But despite the lack of offensive firepower, the Belgians have been solid enough defensively to get the vital points to remain atop the table.