Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Coach Roger Lemerre is eager to restore Honor to Tunisia. It is the fourth Appearance of Tunisia in the world cup, and they never progressed to the second round. The nation's best effort is a draw against the red devils of Belgium, in 2002.
It is also the fourth time for Saudi Arabia to defend their nation honor at the world cup. Although Tunisia is favored to win this game, Saudi Arabia has booked the best result in the past. They finished with the last sixteen, in 1994. However, coach Marcos Cesar is as eager as Roger is, to restore honor to his country. Must I remind you of how they lost 8-o in their openings game in 2002, against Germany?
"These are the little guys, these are the guys the dreams are made off," says the commentator.
Saudi Arabia and Tunisia start their battle. It starts with drama. Two minutes into the game, we should see the second penalty of the tournament. A player from Tunisia is tackled while he leads the ball into the penalty box of Saudi Arabia. The referee sees it different.
"It's is a subjective call, I don't think the touch was enough for a penalty," says the commentator agreeing with the ref. I think, and many probably many people in Tunisia with me, it was.
Both teams develop as equals into the game. Saudi Arabia receiving whistles from the stands while they have possession, it must be a Spanish crowd.
"If you are from Saudi Arabia, you should get a lot of confidence out of the first two minutes," says the commentator. "The game has avoided many clear chances." He obviously feels this should be Tunisian’s game.
24 minutes into the game, Tunisia proves him right. A striker performs a picture perfect left turning volley. The keeper of Saudi Arabia is beaten.


Tunisia gets a chance on an equalizer in the 34th minute, only their striker cannot jump high enough to connect with the ball.
The first yellow is for Tunis a minute later, resulting from their efforts to keep control over the game.
Saudi Arabia follows with another shot on target.
"Not enough power," says the commentator, although the keeper has to dive to catch the ball.
"I don't feel that they really pose any threat for Tunisia," he ads. I feel the same way, the coach for Saudi Arabia will have to make some magic happen.
Maybe the coach of Tunisia did it for him. From the start of the second half, I see Tunisia giving space to Saudi Arabia to set up some structure in their game.
In the 51st minute, Saudi Arabia takes a poor free kick from 20 meters. The Tunisian lean back, they feel no threat from Saudi Arabia.
Five minutes later, they pay the price. Saudi Arabia counters, over the right. A low sharp ball into the box finds the inside shoe of a striker.


"Absolutely unbelievable," shouts the commentator.
He is so right, the Saudis placed the ball into the net as if they were Brazilians. Drums in the crowd heats the atmosphere. The game is wide open, and Saudi Arabia feels the full force of the world cup dream.
"I love that Saudi Arabia is going for the win," says the commentator. While Saudi Arabia put pressure on the defense of Tunisia.
I do too.
Saudi Arabia is taking over the game while Tunisia is collecting yellow cards.
"Its nail biting time, now in the 82nd minute," says the commentator. I wonder if he reads my blogs.
Then the world cup dream really goes traveling. Saudi Arabia plays the ball in three quick passes in front of the goal of Tunisia. Saudi Arabia cries tears of joy while their team takes the lead.

The Saudis experience the world cup dream. Tunisia knows that dream too. They do not choke and bring back the tears to Saudi Arabia, this time reflecting a different emotion.


"Don’t break out the obituary for Tunisia yet," says the commentator.
What a story, fans on both sides must be shell shocked.