(World Cup) S. Korea arrives in venue for match vs. Algeria

By Yoo Jee-ho

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea arrived Friday in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, the site of an upcoming Group H contest against Algeria at the FIFA World Cup.

The 23-man squad, coached by Hong Myung-bo, held a morning practice behind closed doors at its base camp in Foz do Iguacu, about 600 kilometers west of Porto Alegre, before making the trip.

The kickoff between the 57th-ranked South Korea and the 22nd-ranked Algeria will be at 4 p.m. at Estadio Beira-Rio.

South Korea drew Russia 1-1 in the opening group match in Cuiaba on Tuesday. Algeria lost its first group match to Belgium by 2-1.

Belgium and Russia will square off at 1 p.m. Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.

With one point in the bags, a win over Algeria will take South Korea closer to a spot in the round of 16, with a group finale against the heavily favored Belgium scheduled next week.

Since the World Cup expanded from 24 countries to 32 countries in 1998, 36 teams had drawn their first group matches. Of those, 21, or about 58 percent, managed to reach the knockout stage.

The South Korean players have said the hard-fought draw against the favored Russians was a major boost to their confidence, and that they have put away disappointments of losing two consecutive friendlies in the buildup to the World Cup.

They said they will look to exploit holes on Algeria's defense while keeping speedy and skilled attackers from the African side at bay.

South Korea is competing in its eighth consecutive World Cup, and Algeria is in its second straight finals.

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