Friday, June 23, 2006

The road is straight for the Ukraine, they need to win to advance to round two.
For Tunisia, the road is straight and wide, win or draw will open the gate to round two.
After the whistle, Tunisia is the first to scout on the enemy's half. Ukraine follows shortly after. The nations take turns to bring the ball to the other half, and loose possession. Both teams knock on each other’s doors, but do not try to open it.
"It is all about finding a rhythm,” says the commentator.
Ukraine seems to edge the match in their favor, nudging Tunisia into defending.
"I wonder if Tunisia is going to sit back and wait for the counter," says the commentator.
A striker of Ukraine steals the ball of a Tunisian defender, proving how unsafe Tunisia tactics are. The Ukrainian striker cannot shoot past the keeper, the defender can breath again.
In the sixteenth minute, Ukraine takes a free kick from twenty meters to the left of the target. A Tunisian defender heads it to the midfield.
Two minutes later, Tunisia answers with a free kick. The ball bends over the Ukrainian wall, into the hands of the Ukrainian keeper.
The referee likes his whistle, nearly every play so far ends in a free kick. Ukraine takes another free one from thirty meters. This time the Ukrainian striker shoots the ball into the hands of the Tunisian goalkeeper.
Moments later, Ukraine is more original. They put together an attack resulting in a shot from three meters on the target. The keeper of Tunisia punches the shot with his fist, and the ball bounces of the grass away from the goal.
"Ukraine upped the tempo on that one," says the commentator. "Tunisia is now struggling to get out of their half.
He is right, Ukraine tries to break down the door.
However, Tunisia takes possession of the ball and counter, slowing down Ukraine. Tunisia is frustrating Ukraine, and the match cools.
"After coming all out at the start, Ukraine has become very tame," concludes the commentator towards the end of the first half.
The referee sets up a potentially more interesting second half when he gives a player of Tunisia his second yellow card. The red card is automatic, and Tunisia plays on with ten men.
In the second half, Ukraine tries to profit from the extra man they have. However, they struggle to use their advantage while Tunisia defends strong.
"Ukraine got to play wide and open up the game," advises the commentator.
In the sixty-seventh minute, the world cup virus strikes again. Tunisia takes a free kick from twenty meters out. The ball sails over the Ukrainian wall, and two feet over the crossbar. In the repeat, I see a Ukrainian defender stretch his hand high to the ball. The hand of god, everybody has one lately.
The referee never saw anything, Tunisia is denied a penalty. Drama enters our story.
On a counter, a Ukrainian striker trips over his own foot in the Tunisian penalty box. The referee saw something else and lays the ball on the penalty dot.

"Referee where are you’re eyes," shouts the commentator. "What an amazing turn of events."
The shot is to the right, the keeper dives to the left.


"The crowd is alive," says the commentator while the fans are screaming
Tunisia now needs two goals to qualify for round two. They fight until the whistle, however Ukraine holds on to their second round ticket.
Tunisia goes home, they will never forget the referee who stole their dream, and gave it to the Ukraine