Ukraine Wary Of Tunisia

BERLIN, Germany -- Ukraine, needs to defeat Tunisia in Berlin today to be certain of reaching the last 16 of the World Cup, cannot afford any complacency against their Group H opponents.

Tunisia's leading scorer Santos, seen here at team practice in Berlin, could be a surprise starter for the 2004 African Nations Cup champions in their do-or-die clash with Group H rivals Ukraine here on Friday said coach Roger Lemerre on the eve of the match.

Tunisia gave group leaders Spain a fright in Stuttgart on Monday, taking an early lead before Luis Aragones' side fought back to win 3-1.

A draw is likely to be enough for Ukraine, barring a freak result between Spain and Saudi Arabia, but captain Andrei Shevchenko said his team would be going for victory.

"I don't think any player who goes on the pitch ever plays for a draw because he knows how that can end up," the 2004 European Footballer of the Year told reporters. "We've got a very tough game ahead."

A win for Ukraine would set up a second-round clash against France, South Korea or Switzerland. Tunisia, however, could also qualify for the last 16 with a victory.

After an embarrassing 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Spain in the opening match, Ukraine bounced back with an identical scoreline against Saudi Arabia.

Shevchenko, who has recently returned after a month out with a knee injury, scored Ukraine's third goaland set up the fourth for man of the match Maxim Kalinichenko.

Chelsea's new striker said that Kalinichenko was an important player for his country. "My game depends very much on him," Shevchenko said. "He provided a superb pass for my goal and then I thanked him by setting one up for him."

Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre was disappointed that his players faded at the end of their game against Spain and in the 2-2 draw with Saudi Arabia. But he suggested he that would not be making many changes to his line-up. "There's hope and that's important," Lemerre said. "There's cause to be optimistic."

Team details

Ukraine (probable): Shovkovsky (Dynamo Kiev); Rusol (Dnipro), Vashchyuk (Dynamo Kiev), Nesmachny (Dynamo Kiev); Husev (Dynamo Kiev), Tymoshchyuk (Shakhtar Donetsk), Shelayev (Dnipro), Kalinichenko (Spartak Moscow), Rebrov (Dynamo Kiev); Shevchenko (Chelsea), Voronin (Bayer Leverkusen).

Tunisia (probable): Boumnijel (Club Africain); Trabelsi (Ajax), Jaidi (Bolton), Hagui (RC Strasbourg), Ayari (Samsunspor); Namouchi (Rangers), Mnari (Nurnberg), Chedli (Nurnberg), Nafti (Birmingham), Bouazizi (Ereciyespor); Jaziri (Troyes).

Referee: C Amarilla (Paraguay).

[The game can be seen in Ukraine on INTER channel at 17:00 EEST]

Source: UK Telegraph