Wednesday June 5th, 2002
Russia vs Tunisia in Kobe (2:0)
As early as the second minute, Vladimir Beschastnykh exaggerated
contact and earned Russia a free-kick just outside the Tunisia area, which Valeri Karpin
blasted at Ali Boumnjiel.
For Tunisia, Adel Sellimi tested Rusian Nigmatullin a minute later, to
prove that the North Africans were not here just to make the numbers up.
On fifteen minutes, Russia combined well on the right only for Tunisia
to disrupt their attack and hook the final lay-off out of danger.
Five minutes later, two Russia defenders stumbled over each other, as
Hassen Gabsi was running onto a through-ball, and Yuri Kovtun's touch almost beat his own
goalkeeper; for what would have been the first own-goal of the tournament.
Russia slowed down their build-ups through Karpin and Titov - letting
the ball do the work and the Tunisians the running - to conserve their energy in the heat.
Both teams seemed to drag out the end of the first-half, then Russia
upped the tempo slightly in the last seconds and Titov shot narrowly wide.
Half-time: Russia 0 - Tunisia 0
Dmitri Khokhlov started the second-half in place of Igor Semshov.
Tunisia started the second-half a little stronger and looked more
dangerous on the approach to goal; creating a couple of good chances before Beschastnykh -
who seemed out of sorts up front for Russia - was replaced by Dmitry Sychev.
Four minutes after the substitution, Dmitry Sychev flicked the ball back, to beat his
defender, and it bounced at the feet of Spartak teammate Yegor Titov, who made it look
easy to beat the slow to react Nigmatullin - 59 mins.
The new substitution, and goal, brought Russia to life and they pushed
forward once more.
The lively Dmitry Sychev was brought down as he tried to turn Radhi Jaidi in the Tunisian
area. Valeri Karpin struck the penalty low, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, and
hugged the substitute, whose approach work had earned the spot-kick - 64 mins.
Tunisia responded with a double substitution: Imed Mhedhebi and
Zoubaier Baya on for Hassen Gabsi and Adel Sellimi.
Russia could now relax and pass the ball around without tiring
themselves much further, although Tunisia tried to pounce on any mistakes and counter.
Jaziri, who had already been booked once for trying to con a penalty
from the Jamaican referee was lucky not to get a second yellow card for trying it on
Russia 2 -
Man of the Match:
Dmitry Sychev - Although he was only on the pitch for half an hour, he brought the game to
life and was instrumental in both of Russia's goals.
Igor Semshov (27 mins)
Hassen Gabsi (50 mins)
Zied Jaziri (75 mins)
Dmitri Alenichev (88 mins)
1 Rusian Nigmatullin; 2 Yuri Kovtun, 3 Yuri Nikiforov, 7 Viktor
Onopko, 5 Andrei Solomatin; 20 Marat Izmailov (15 Dmitri Alenichev - 78 mins),
8 Valeri Karpin, 6 Igor Semshov (21 Dmitri Khokhlov - 46 mins), 9 Yegor
Titov; 11 Vladimir Beschastnykh (22 Dmitry Sychev - 55 mins), 19 Rusian Pimenov.
1 Ali Boumnjiel; 2 Khaled Badra (20 Ali Zitouni - 84 mins), 12 Raouf
Bouzaiene, 15 Radhi Jaidi, 4 Mohamed Mkacher, 6 Hatem Trabelsi;
18 Slim Benachour, 13 Riadh Bouazizi, 8 Hassen Gabsi (7 Imed Mhedhebi - 67
mins); 5 Zied Jaziri, 11 Adel Sellimi (3 Zoubaier Baya - 67 mins).
Referee: Peter Prendergast
Denmark, France, Senegal, Uruguay.
Paraguay, Slovenia, Spain,
Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Turkey.
South Korea, United States.
Korea First Round Matches.
Cameroon, Germany, Republic of Ireland,
Argentina, England, Nigeria, Sweden.
Croatia, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico.
Belgium, Japan, Russia, Tunisia.
Japan First Round Matches.
2002 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
Group Tables - Leading Goalscorers.
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