Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Saudi Arabia 2 Tunisia 2



Hey, do you know how sometimes a basketball games reaches extreme garbage time and the lowliest of subs get in and everyone goes crazy for them? Their teammates. The crowd. Everyone. It's fun because at that point nobody really cares anymore and the guys who are finally seeing some action are going to play balls out because they have nothing to lose.

Well, that's sort of what this game was like.

In the big picture, both Saudi Arabia and Tunisia are benchwarmers. They're not going to see any legit action and the world knows it. If they see any playing time, everyone is going to laugh because it's so rare and, well, they'll most likely look funny in their headbands, knee pads, and sports goggles.

But after seeing Ukraine get pounded by Spain earlier in the day, the Saudis and Tunisians must have wet themselves with the thought of the possibilities. Where once it was assumed Spain and Ukraine would advance, all of a sudden there was a huge opening if one of these teams could nab all three points. It was right there for the taking. So it had all the makings of an exciting game.

And it didn't disappoint. Both teams went out their all crazy-like, madly ran around, looked incredibly sloppy at times, but at no point did the game sour into a dull, defensive affair. Tunisia controlled the first half, Saudi Arabia did likewise in the second, and when Rahdi Jaidi scored Tunisia's equalizer amazingly late in added time it seemed fitting that the two sides shared the spoils. (Thanks for the phrase, Tommy Smyth.) It just seemed right that the two underdogs would each walk away with a point and head into their next two matches with visions of the second round still dancing in their heads.

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