Ukraine advance after win against Tunisia in Group H
Friday, June 23, 2006
Ukraine beat Tunisia by an Andriy Shevchenko penalty in Berlin to advance to the round of sixteen, Friday.
Roger Lemerre, coach of Tunisia, might consider his team were unlucky as the match seemed to turn on officiating decisions that favoured the Ukrainians.
Ukraine went into the last Group H game needing a draw to go through to the round of sixteen while Tunisia needed a win. It was a competitive match without much flair or accurate passing.
A total of just nine shots and six corner kicks and the 42 fouls amassed suggested that the game was mostly played in the centre third of the pitch.
The first of three things to go wrong from the Tunisia perspective was the sending off of arguably their best player Zied Jaziri. He got his second yellow card a minute before half-time for a mistimed challenge which followed a yellow card for foul simulation earlier in the game.
The second crucial moment, when the score was still 0-0, appeared to follow from an Andriy Rusol foul a few yards away from his penalty area on 64 minutes. The caution Rusol received meant he would miss Ukraine's next Fifa World Cup match.
Anis Ayari took the freekick and got it up over the wall; it was close enough to going in that it landed on the netting on top of the goal. Unfortuantely for Tunisia television replay showed a Ukrainian player in the wall, inside the penalty area, stuck his arm up and the ball had clipped his arm on the way through.
This was the fifth time in three days at the World Cup players in defensive positions had put their hand up in their own penalty area to stop balls; it also happened in Portugal versus Mexico; Serbia and Montenegro versus Ivory Coast; and Croatia versus Australia. In this match no penalty was awarded for the handball.
Four minutes later Andriy Shevchenko made it 1-0 for Ukraine from the penalty spot. There was some question about whether the award was just. Although Shevchenko had done well to nip past the Tunisian keeper, and had two defenders in close vicinity, he had appeared to trip himself when he tapped his own left ankle with his right foot.
For neutral fans in the Olympiastadion a bright spot in a scrappy match came on on 89 minutes when Ali Boumnijel made a brilliant save from Andriy Voronin. Voronin was one-on-one with the Tunisian and the save seemed to block an almost certain second goal for Ukraine.
By that time the game was done and dusted and Ukraine were through to the round of sixteen of the Fifa World Cup for the first time in its history.
|June 23, 2006|
|Shevchenko 70' (pen)|
- 01 O Shovkovskiy
- 02 A Nesmachniy
- 06 A Rusol 65'
- 22 V Sviderskiy 18'
- 04 A Tymoschuk 61'
- 08 O Shelayev 47'
- 09 O Gusev
- 11 S Rebrov (Substituted: 54' A Vorobey)
- 19 M Kalinichenko (Substituted: 75' A Gusin)
- 07 A Shevchenko (Substituted: 88' A Milevskiy)
- 10 A Voronin
Fifa World Cup Group H table June 23, 2006
- "Ukraine 1-0 Tunisia" — , June 23, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 23, 2006
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