Accessibility links

Tunisia Holds Belgium to a 1-1 Tie - 2002-06-10

Tunisia has played Belgium to a surprising 1-1 draw in the first World Cup football match played in Oita, Japan. Tunisia managed to hold off a Belgian attack that had expected to come out of the game with three points.

The Belgians got off to a strong start with Marc Wilmots giving them the 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, as he converted a short pass from just inside the six-meter box.

But Belgium failed to build on its momentum, as the goal served as a wake-up call for Tunisia. The Africans took advantage of their opportunities, and leveled the match at 1-1 just four minutes later, as Raouf Bouzaiene blasted home a free kick from 25 meters out.

Play became sloppy for the remainder of the half, as both teams seemed to pull back a bit and concentrate on defense. As the second half started, Belgium appeared to alter its tactics, abandoning the long ball for a more patient attack.

Both teams had quality scoring chances in the final 30 minutes of the match, but neither was able to convert a winning score. With each team having one more match to play, Group H remains undecided with Japan on top with four points.