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
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
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
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
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
Germany were hosting Australia later in Frankfurt in the day's other
Group A match.