Spain rebound to beat Tunisia 3-1
Second half goals by Raul and Torres, helped the team win despite bad start.Schedule | Teams | Results | Photos | Gamesindia Updated: Jun 20, 2006 03:05 IST
Substitute Raul Gonzalez and attacking partner Fernando Torres scored within six minutes of each other on Monday to help Spain rally to a 3-1 win over Tunisia in Group H of the World Cup.
Raul scored in the 71st minute and Torres poked in the second in the 77th after being set up by substitute Cesc Fabregas. Torres added a third goal from penalty spot in the 90th after he got pulled down by a defender.
Torres could have made it 3-1 earlier when he broke free from the Tunisian defense, but instead waited until he shot past Tunisia goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel from the penalty spot. Boumnijel got a hand on the ball but could not stop it from rolling in underneath him.
Spain is emerging as a serious candidate to win the World Cup, and the result put the team in the second round and extended its unbeaten streak under coach Luis Aragones to 24 games. Tunisia must beat Ukraine in its last match to have a chance to advance.
Aragones fielded the same starting lineup that crushed Ukraine 4-0 in Spain's best ever World Cup opener, but Tunisia stunned the Spaniards in the eighth minute when Jawhar Menari scored a goal against the run of play.
Striker Ziad Jaziri set up the goal after winning a duel against Carles Puyol, dribbling past three defenders in the box and lifting the ball to Menari. The Nuremberg striker's first shot was blocked by Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas but Menari knocked in the rebound.
Spain has opened the World Cup with two wins twice before, but never with such a good goal margin.
Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre will have to restore morale to his squad to have any chance of beating Ukraine, which rebounded from its opening debacle to beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 earlier on Monday.