Football, the only event in Rio Olympics 2016 which started before the official opening date on Aug. 5, has already produced some brilliant performances and results. So when two teams Argentina and Algeria, who both are in desperate need of a win, go against each other, a high-tempo game can be witnessed on Sunday.
Two-time Olympic champion Argentina have always been one of the strongest football teams in Olympics history, but they got off to a disappointing start, losing to Portugal in their first game. Likewise, Algeria also lost their opening game to Honduras, which was a lively affair, resulting in 3-2 loss.
Hence, both the teams lie on bottom of the Group D, making this encounter even more important. Only top two teams from the group would progress into the quarterfinal of the competition, increasing their hopes of a medal finish in Rio. As of now, Argentina and Algeria are lagging behind in the race.
Argentina will depend on stars like Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid) and Manuel Lanzini (West Ham), who will need to score goals for their teem.
Though Argentina might have lost to Portugal, they received chances to score, which was not converted. Argentina need to make sure that they find the back of the net when a chance comes by, if not, it could be decisive in determining win or loss. They also need to be consistent for the entire duration of the match.
Coach Olarticoechea is aware of the importance of the upcoming matches to ensure a quarterfinals berth. "We cannot lose again, we have two finals left (Algeria and Honduras). We still have chances and I'm sure we're going to get over it," buenosairesherald.com quoted Olarticoechea as saying.
Even Argentina's captain Víctor Cuesta echoes the same sentiment, as he said: "Now we have to work because we have a new chance on Sunday. We must win both matches."
Algeria have a much tougher task after their first loss. Though Algeria might be determined to win, Argentina will come up with their best game on Sunday. Algeria will need to stifle Argentina, not allowing their players much space to work around with, and play a counter-attacking game to produce a positive result. Algeria can be a great counter-attacking side, if their players use pace to catch Argentina napping.
Though Argentina will start the match as favourites, Algeria cannot be taken lightly.
Where to watch live
Argentina vs Algeria is scheduled for a 6 p.m. local time (10 p.m. BST, 2.30 a.m. IST) start. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: No Live TV coverage. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Brazil: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Argentina: TV: ESPN Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
UK: TV: BBC Red Button.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.