Spain, Ukraine press on to second round with 1-0 wins
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Spain and Ukraine did exactly as expected Friday, each winning its match to eliminate Saudi Arabia and Tunisia from the World Cup.
France also won and advanced to the second round, beating Togo 2-0 to win for its first time in six World Cup matches. Switzerland won Group G by beating South Korea 2-0.
Spain won its third straight game at this year's tournament, with a team of reserves beating Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Group H to confirm the feeling that it may be about to lose its underachiever tag.
Ukraine, which became the first former Soviet republic to advance to the second round at a World Cup, beat Tunisia 1-0. Andriy Shevchenko scored from the penalty spot in the 70th minute.
France, which last won a World Cup match in the 1998 final, got goals from Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry. Vieira was celebrating his 30th birthday.
In the second round, Spain will play France on Tuesday in Hanover, while Ukraine plays Switzerland on Monday in Cologne.
Ukraine joins Ghana as the only two of the six newcomers in Germany to reach the second round. Angola, Ivory Coast, Togo and Trinidad and Tobago have all been eliminated.
Ukraine, which lost its opening match to Spain 4-0, became only the third team to advance to the second round after losing its opener since the World Cup expanded its field to 32 teams. Ghana also did it this year.