• FT

    Argentina

    2

    Tunisia

    1

  • FT

    Germany

    4

    Australia

    3

FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP

Stadion Köln

Referee: 0

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Argentina

  • Juan Román Riquelme 33' PEN
  • Javier Saviola 57'

2 - 1

FT

Tunisia

  • Haykel Guemamdia 72' PEN

Argentina 2-1 Tunisia: Comfortable win

COLOGNE, Germany, June 15 (Reuters) - Argentina beat Tunisia 2-1 in the opening match of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, winning more easily than the narrow scoreline suggests.

Juan Riquelme's 33rd minute penalty and a well-taken 57th

minute strike from Javier Saviola gave the South Americans

control of the Group A match against the African champions, who

missed with one penalty and converted another.

Both Tunisian penalties were awarded after Argentina

goalkeeper German Lux brought down striker Haykel Guemamdia,

first in the 17th minute and then in the 72nd minute.

Imed Mhadhebi missed the first penalty, walking up to the

ball and then blasting it two metres wide, but Guemamdia took

the second himself and scored.

After surviving their early scare from the spot, Argentina

controlled the match for long periods, while Tunisia played some

enterprising, creative football of their own and produced a

couple of chances in the closing stages.

Riquelme said: 'We knew we were facing a very tough side and

we got off to a bumpy start. But things did get better as the

match went on.

'We need to improve, though, if we want to reach the level

to achieve what we want.'

Tunisia made the better start but were visibly deflated by

the penalty miss and Argentina began to take control.

They showed Mhadhebi how a penalty should be taken after

Tunisia skipper Hatem Trabelsi shoved Maxim Rodriguez in mid-air

as he rose to meet Mario Santana's high cross.

Trabelsi was booked and Riquelme coolly converted the

resulting spot-kick.

The outstanding Luciano Galletti created Argentina's second,

breaking in space down the Tunisian right and crossing perfectly

for Saviola, who steered the ball home from two metres out.

With Argentina seemingly coasting at 2-0, Lux tripped

Guemamdia for a second time to concede another penalty and was

booked in the process.

Guemamdia sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot,

giving the Tunisians in the crowd at the half-filled stadium

something to cheer.

Argentina, who made sure of being back in Germany next year

after qualifying for the World Cup finals last week, should have

gone ahead after only 11 minutes.

Defender Karim Saidi lost possession on the edge of his area

to the usually lethal Saviola, but the striker, with only

goalkeeper Khaled Fadhel to beat, took too long and the keeper

smothered his shot.

Although Slim Benachour displayed some real creativity in

the Tunisian midfield in the opening exchanges, Argentina

gradually took charge through Riquelme, Santana and Lucas

Bernardi.

Skipper Juan Sorin finished off another excellent Argentina

build-up with a shot over the bar just before half-time, while

Saviola, Santana and Galletti could all have added to

Argentina's total in the second half.

Germany were hosting Australia later in Frankfurt in the

day's other Group A match.

Scoring Summary

  • Argentina
  • Tunisia
(pen 72') Haykel Guemamdia

Match Stats

  • Argentina
  • Tunisia
9(4) Shots (on goal) 8(4)
3 Fouls 11
6 Corner kicks 5
3 Offsides 0
0% Time of Possession 0%
2 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 4

Teams

  • Argentina
  • Tunisia
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards