The African champions salvaged some Bitcoin Dice pride in Leipzig’s Zentralstadion tonight with a 2:0 win over a disappointing Australia, who now exit the tournament with three defeats.
Strikes from Santos in the 26th and 70th minute gave coach Roger Lemerre, who won the last Confederations Cup with France, something to smile about after back to back losses against Argentina and Germany whilst his opposite number Frank Farina lamented his side’s “schoolboy errors” that once more condemned Australia to fail once more to step up to the plate on the world soccer stage.
The magnificent Leipzig arena was only filled with 29 of its 45,000 capacity and as an almighty electrical storm illuminated the second half of a match that was always going to play second fiddle to the Germany v Argentina game being played at the same time and between two teams that had already been eliminated.
Neither side wanted to leave the tournament with a blank slate and this time as last with New Zealand in 2003, it fell to Oceania’s representatives to bring home the wooden spoon. But Tunisia also exit the competition with wounded pride having failed to emulate Cameroon, who as African champions reached the Confederations Cup final last time around.
A scrappy match was decided by two goals from Toulouse marksman Santos, although he will have appreciated the two fortuitous ‘assists’ from the Australian defence that allowed him to strike. His first goal came courtesy of an aerial collision between Blackburn’s Lucas Neill and the unsteady Australian reserve keeper Michael Petkovic, in response to a cross from Mehdi Nafti. The ball fell perfectly for Santos gratefully tapped in to an open goal.
His second goal arrived thanks to Craig Moore’s unfortunate interception of …