Andriy Shevchenko, Ukraine striker and the back of the Saudi Arabian goal X 4
Ukraine must have been glad that they had Saudi Arabia as their next opponents. Spain had taken Ukraine to the cleaners 4-0, and this time it was Ukraine pasting the Saudis with the same score. Shevchenko came alive and his well timed pass from the left, split two defender, found Krivilichenko spot on. The goalkeeper had no chance. Earlier Shevchenko scored his first goal and the Ukrainians heaved a sigh of relief that their star striker had finally come to life after being absolutely shut down against Carlos Puyol and his men.
Ukraine is probably through to the second stage in the second spot and they could meet the winners of Group G, which could be either Switzerland or South Korea. Ukraine should fancy their chances against both teams.
“Hey kid, give me a break, I’m old enough to be your father!”
Ali Boumnijel, Tunisian goalkeeper (L) Fernando Torres, Spain’s goalscorer (R)
Spain are through to the next stage winning over Tunisia, 3-1. The Tunisians went ahead in a shocker and gamely held on till the 65th minute as wave after wave of Spanish attacks swept them. Sergio Aragones’s subs paid off and Raul broke through scoring the tieing goal. Fabregas squeezed in a beautiful pass that isolated Torres, who scooted around a charging Boumnijel and flick the ball into the goal almost contemptuously. Spain score another goal through a PK taken by Torres. Before the game finished he almost scored his hat trick.
40 year old Boumnijel gave it his all and he came up with some nice saves but against the like of Xabi, Villa, Cesc,Joaquin, Raul, Torres, Pernin, Luis Garcia, you can only do so much. Tunisia can credit themselves with the fact that Aragones had to go to his bench to find the answers, something Ukraine was not able to do.
Spain answered one very fundamental question. They can bounce back from the deficit. In previous editions, Spain has proved to be extremely brittle, folding easily considering the great talent that they have always possessed. They have never made it past the quarterfinals in 11 World Cup appearances.
Both teams out of Group H should be able to get past their Group G opponents on talent. But those gritty South Koreans never go away!