Football World Cup : If Slovenia defeats the USA Slovenia goes through
Slovenia manager Matjaz Kek has acclaimed the success of his side in the past year, after an amazing reversal of form that sees them one victory away from the last 16 of the World Cup.
Kek's team had great difficulties in the qualifying stages this time last year, before a remarkable run of results earned them a place in the play-offs against Russia.
With few expecting them to succeed, Slovenia belied the odds to overcome Guus Hiddink's highly rated Russian outfit to reach the finals and, following their 1-0 victory against Algeria, a similar result against USA will see them qualify for the knockout stages.
"A year ago we were making preparations for playing San Marino, today we are thinking about the knockout stage in our second match," he said.
"A great step has been taken and our squad has achieved a great evolution. This is not the most important match in our history but it is important and it can establish Slovenia on the global map of football.
"I know we have the smallest population of all the teams in the World Cup but we have not come here to rest, we are active participants in this World Cup. A year back things were completely different."
Despite the USA starting the game as favourites, the minnows have already upset the odds to great success, with Kek adamant his side can upset the apple cart once again, to really create a name for themselves.
"America's quality is their collective approach and their physical and mental ability. They do have individuals who can play a pivotal role. Landon Donovan is just one of many high-quality players that the US have," Kek added.
"We are looking forward to playing with an excellent competitor who last year had a lot of success in reaching the Confederations Cup final in South Africa. The team is composed of excellent individuals and we are mindful that a daunting challenge lies ahead.
"But Slovenia has not come to the World Cup because of luck but because of our endeavours, and we should not stand in awe of anyone."
Kek is uncertain as to the condition of Inter Milan midfielder Rene Krhin, who has an ankle injury and defender Marko Suler.
Meanwhile, Slovenia skipper Robert Koren is putting his thoughts on club football on hold as he concentrates on the World Cup.
As the midfielder gets ready for the match against the USA, he finds himself currently unemployed, after English Premiership new boys, West Bromwich Albion released him, following the end of the domestic season.
Koren helped the Baggies win a place in the Premier League, but manager Roberto Di Matteo has since determined that monetary resources could be spent elsewhere.
The 29-year-old has been rumoured to have been approached by Italian side Chievo, however, he insists he is not considering where he will be playing his domestic football next season.
"I will concentrate on my games at the World Cup, do my best for the team and our country and we will see what happens after that," he said.
"I don't think about West Brom now or any other clubs.
"I am thinking about Slovenia getting through the group stage and afterwards we will talk about my future."
Slovenia's chances of reaching the knockout stages have increased by their magnificent win over Algeria, thanks to a Koren goal, and the stalemate between England and the USA.
Nevertheless, Matjaz Kek's minnows are still being given the underdog tag.
"It is not a problem in terms of motivation," he said. "When we came to the World Cup we said the next step we wanted to do was get through the group stage.
"We will go game-by-game and we are not thinking about anything else, we are just thinking about ourselves."