WORLD CUP SOCCER
Tunisia's Radhi Jaidi scored the equalizing goal against Saudi Arabia yesterday.
Tunisia's tie scores first African point
In the World Cup's only all-Arab match, the Saudis see their lead slip away into a final score of 2-2
MUNICH, Germany » Tunisia made sure the first round of the World Cup wasn't a total loss for Africa.
Rahdi Jaidi's powerful header in injury time gave Tunisia a 2-2 tie with Saudi Arabia in a Group H game that was also the only all-Arab match of the tournament.
It was the first point earned by one of five African teams at this tournament. Ivory Coast, Angola, Ghana and Togo all lost their opening games.
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TV: 3 a.m.-noon, ESPN2
» Spain 4, Ukraine 0
» Tunisia 2, Saudi Arabia 2
» Germany 1, Poland 0
» Ecuador vs. Costa Rica, 3 a.m.
» England vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 6 a.m.
» Sweden vs. Paraguay, 9 a.m.
» Argentina vs. Serbia-Montenegro, 3 a.m.
» Netherlands vs. Ivory Coast, 6 a.m.
» Mexico vs. Angola, 9 a.m.
"Our objective is to be able to go into the last match without having lost all hope, so that we still have something to fight for," Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre said. "It's a point won."
It almost wasn't.
Sami al-Jaber gave the Saudis a 2-1 lead in the 84th when he finished off a 2-on-1 break. Al-Jaber, who retired from the national team, then was brought back for qualifying, had entered the game moments before. He has played in four World Cups and now has goals in three after scoring on his first touch of the game.
Saudi Arabia coach Marcos Paqueta had left al-Jaber on the bench because the veteran was struggling with a thigh problem. But the 34-year-old showed his class at the first opportunity.
"The entry of (al-Jaber), a very experienced player, was important," Lemerre said.
The game was a scrappy affair and Lemerre said his players lacked poise as well as fitness, suggesting neither team will go far in the tournament. Saudi Arabia reached the second round only once, in the United States in 1994, while Tunisia has never gotten out of group play.
Tunisia plays Spain on Monday, the same day Saudi Arabia plays Ukraine.
The Tunisians took the lead in the 23rd minute, when the Saudi defense failed to clear a corner kick and Jaziri thumped the ball hard and high into the top-left corner of the Saudi net.
"They weren't defensive mistakes," Paqueta said. "They were just two good Tunisian goals."
Spain 4, Ukraine 0
LEIPZIG, Germany » Spain looked ready to cast off its reputation as a chronic underachiever, routing struggling newcomer Ukraine for its biggest opening World Cup win. It was a sizzling start to yet another title bid after 11 futile, often disheartening attempts.
David Villa scored twice and Fernando Torres capped the romp with a sensational goal off a series of passes.
Germany 1, Poland 0
DORTMUND, Germany » Substitute Oliver Neuville scored on a sliding kick off a brilliant cross from another sub, David Odonkor, in injury time. The hosts, with a man advantage for the final 15 minutes, controlled the action, only to be frustrated by Artur Borac, who made a handful of spectacular saves.