LEIPZIG, Germany, June 21 (Reuters) - Francileudo dos Santos scored twice to give Tunisia a 2-0 win over Australia in the final Confederations Cup match for both teams who will now head home after failing to reach the semi-finals.
Santos put Tunisia ahead in the 26th minute, tapping in when
Australia keeper Michael Petkovic dropped the ball in front of
goal after colliding with his own defender, Lucas Neill,
following a cross from Mehdi Nafti.
Santos, a Brazilian with Tunisian citizenship whose goals
fired his adopted country to African Nations Cup success last
year, doubled their lead with his second goal in the 70th to
wrap up the victory in their Group A encounter.
That put an abrupt end to Australia's attempted fightback
after they had come to life in the second half when Mark Viduka,
making his first start of the tournament, was replaced by Archie
Thompson, who just missed in the 56th minute.
A 67th-minute cross by Jason Culina, who had also come off
the bench after the break, then found midfielder Tim Cahill
unmarked on the left but his volley also went narrowly wide.
Tunisia finished the tournament with one win and two losses
- against semi-finalists Argentina and Germany - while
Australia were beaten by all three opponents.
The match in Leipzig, played before a surprisingly large
crowd of almost 24,000, began under sweltering heat before a
steady downpour, complete with flashes of lightning, in the
second half made the pitch treacherous.
After Santos had been gifted the opening goal the shaky
Petkovic, replacing Mark Schwarzer, almost conceded another two
minutes into the second period when he tried to punch the ball
and missed, leaving defender Craig Moore to clear the danger.
Australia paid a heavy price for their poor finishing after
halftime, squandering three good chances to equalise before an
unmarked Santos broke free to the left of goal and blasted a
close-range shot past the helpless Petkovic.