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In brave talk ahead of must-win Algeria game, Russia's Berezutskiy says team 'bound to score'

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CURITIBA, Russia — Russia captain Vasily Berezutskiy says there's no doubt — his team will score on Thursday in its must-win match against Algeria at the World Cup.

That's brave talk from a man whose team has only scored one goal so far in Group H, in an opening draw with South Korea.

"We have studied new schemes, new models and I think tomorrow we will score, we're bound to score tomorrow," Berezutskiy told a news conference on Wednesday.

One goal may not be enough if Algeria continues to attack as it did in a 4-2 victory over South Korea. Heading into the final game of the group, Belgium has already qualified and Algeria lies second with three points, knowing a draw would probably be enough to reach the second round for the first time. Russia and South Korea have one point each.

PHOTO: Russia's Denis Glushakov, left, and Russia's Alan Dzagoev react after the group H World Cup soccer match between Belgium and Russia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. Belgium won the match 1-0.  (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Russia's Denis Glushakov, left, and Russia's Alan Dzagoev react after the group H World Cup soccer match between Belgium and Russia at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. Belgium won the match 1-0. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Coach Fabio Capello insisted that his team's paltry goal return at the World Cup wasn't for lack of trying, particularly in its 1-0 loss to Belgium. Capello's team pressured Belgium for long stretches at the Maracana, but lacked quality finishing.

Capello has been criticized for being overly defensive in the game against Belgium — and only bringing on attacking midfielder Alan Dzagoev with minutes left to play and striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov in the 90th minute.

"I made a change to win the match," he said.

Whatever happens, Capello thinks the tournament has been hugely valuable for a team that hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 2002 and is gearing up to host the next edition in 2018.

"The fact that we are here is a positive thing," said Capello, who has signed a contract extension to see him through the next four years. "We have taken a step forward."

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PHOTO: Fabio Capello, Italian coach of Russian national soccer team, walks during a training session in Itu, Brazil, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Russia plays in group H of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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