Preview: Ukraine v Tunisia

Ukraine and Tunisia meet in Berlin on Friday in a match in which both teams know a win would see them advance to the next stage of the competition.

    The heads have it

    The former Soviet Republic has the advantage of knowing a draw should be enough to send them through.

    If they do draw the only thing to stop them progressing would be if Saudi Arabia beats Spain by four goals.

    The likelihood of that happening is the same as Saudi Arabia having world renowned ski fields within the next year.

    Dinamo Kiev midfielder Serhiy Rebrov explained the side’s new confidence after dismantling the Sons of The Desert.

    "After the first goal against Saudi Arabia we felt we could do anything on the pitch," said Rebrov.

    "We gave a good performance and I hope we can do the same in the last game against Tunisia.
      
    "After the first game (which Ukraine lost 4-0), there were a lot of critical words about us in the newspapers but I think we showed against the Saudis we are one of the favourites in the group."
     
    Former strike partner Andriy Shevchenko, the Ukraine skipper, also believes that national pride is a major motivating factor for the team.
      
    "The main thing is that the people can see we're playing for them, and that they can believe in us again," said the captain.

    Tunisia looked like being in the driving seat when they led their last game against Spain only to lose 3-1 and be in desperate need of all three points.

    Coach Lemerre wants his players
    to roll up their sleeves

    But former French coach Roger Lemerre believes his side has a chance of righting wrongs.

    "We've got 90 minutes to get things right against Ukraine. A win would give us a hope of qualifying," he said.


    The side remains confident and has even selected their preferred opponent for the first knock out games.

    "Most of us would have loved to play against France, but we still have to do the job by beating Ukraine. It's not finished yet, and we will start working focusing on that," said Zied Jaziri, who plays for Troyes.

    Both managers know that goals will guarantee a historic place in the next stage and so will put a premium on attacking football in their tactics.

    Ukraine were extremely impressive in their last match with Andriy Shevchenko finding his form and being duly supported by the delivery of Maksim Kalinichenko and strike partner Andriy Voronin, while the Carthage Eagles showed their attacking wares with the opener against Spain.

    A great match seems inevitable.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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