Algeria won their first World Cup match — 4-2 against South Korea — since 1982 by becoming the first African nation to ever score four goals in this tournament. They played a direct 4-2-3-1 against their opponent’s 4-4-1-1 which made it a bit easier to counter and even begin from the back. This was a well-deserved victory.
The South Korean’s formation was a bit plain. By having a flat midfield and defense, it makes it easier for a team to weave in and out of space going forward. On the attack, they relied heavily on Heung-Min Son who scored their first goal and could have created a couple more for his teammates. At the age of 21, this youngster shows a promising future as he could be the leader of this team in the coming years.
Algeria completely changed their game plan from the Belgium game as they used quick passing and individual skill to beat guys one-on-one and managed to attack and defend as a team. They were stronger in the air and smarter on the ground. They filled in for one another when one player dipped out of his position to cover space nearby. If they had played this offensively and intelligently against Belgium, they would not have been utterly dominated in all aspects.
With this win, a victory or even a draw against Russia in their final group game next week will be enough to pass into the Round of 16 behind Belgium. This will be an even tougher match for them as the Russians are desperate for a result to rescue their World Cup participation. Therefore, both teams will have something big to play for.
As for South Korea, an unlikely win against Belgium may not be sufficient as they would have to win by two or three goals, depending on the goal differential of the Russians or Algerians after their final match. Their playing style is intelligent gong forward, but defensively there are too many holes that need to filled.
This group has become an exciting one to follow, so watching the last two games is a must.