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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:28, June 15, 2006
Tunisia held 2-2 by Saudi Arabia at World Cup Group H match
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Saudi Arabia held African champions Tunisia to a 2-2 draw in their World Cup Group H match on Wednesday.

Zied Jairi gave Tunisia a 1-0 after 23 minutes, firing home a spectacular volley after Redha Tuker made a poor clearance from a free kick.

Yasser Al Khatani equalized the score for Saudi Arabia with their first World Cup goal since 1998 in the 57th minute. Mohammed Noor sent in a low cross and Khatani cut in between two Tunisian defenders to slot the ball home.

The Asians side surprised all to go ahead in the 84th minute. Sami Al Jaber, who was sent on from the bench in the second half, rounding off an exquisite one-touch move from the back by tucking the ball past Tunisia's 40-year-old goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel.

Tunisia, bidding for the first win for Africa at the World Cup, levelled the score with a last-gasp goal in the injury time from Radhi Jaidi to make it 2-2.

"We are not satisfied, obviously," said Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre, who led France to the champions of Euro 2000 and guided Tunisia to the champions of African Nations Cup in 2004.

"But it is one point we won. We are now on a par with Tunisia. Ukraine now have zero point. Our objective is to go to the last match with Ukraine," Lemerre said.

The Frenchman admitted that Tunisia are now in a very difficult situation, but "we'll fight hard."

Saudi Arabia coach Marcos Paqueta said that to send on veteran striker Sami Al Jaber is the most crucial moment of the match. "I sent him on and it worked," he said.

"In the first half, we were nervous and feared Tunisia," the Brazilian said. "But during the interval I told the players to move more and do better through the wings.

"We should have won the match, but that's football. Ukraine are a weak team and we will make most of them in the next game," he said.

Group H rivals Ukraine are happy to see the result since the World Cup debutants were crushed by Spain 4-0 in an earlier match.

Tunisia 2, Saudi Arabia 2 - Final result

World Cup Group H

Scorers:

Tunisia - Zied Jaziri 23, Radhi Jaidi 90+3

Saudi Arabia - Yasser Al Kahtani 57, Sami Al Jaber 84

Yellow Cards:

Tunisia - Karim Haggui 35, Riadh Bouazizi 36, Adel Chedli 65, Yassine Chikhaoui 79

Halftime: 1-0

Attendance: 66,000

Referee: Mark Shield(Australia)

Teams:

Tunisia:

1-Ali Boumnijel; 3-Karim Haggui; 5-Zied Jaziri; 6-Hatem Trabelsi; 9-Yassine Chikhaoui(2-Karim Essediri 82);12-Jaouhar Mnari;13-Riadh Bouazizi(8-Mehdi Nafti 55);14-Adel Chedli(10-Kaies Ghodhbane 69);15-Radhi Jaidi;18-David Jemmali;20-Hamed Namouchi

Saudi Arabia:

21-Mabrouk Zaid;2-Ahmed Dokhi;3-Redha Tukar;4-Hamad Al Montashari;6-Omar Al Ghamdi;8-Mohammed Noor(7-Mohammed Ameen 75); 13-Hussein Sulimani;14-Saud Kariri;16-Khaled Aziz;18-Nawaf Al Temyat(23-Malek Al Hawsawi 67);20-Yasser Al Kahtani(9-Sami Al Jaber 82)

Source: Xinhua


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