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SOCCER

SPAIN 3, AUSTRALIA 2: The Spaniards, who scored very late in their win over Saudi Arabia and their 1-1 tie with France, tugged at a few heartstrings again, trailing 2-0 and facing elimination before $12-million forward Raul Gonzales scored twice in a remarkable comeback before a crowd 12,050 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Raul, as he is known, curled a marvelous left-footed free kick around a wall just before the half to narrow the lead. Then, after captain Santiago Denia equalized in the 86th minute, Raul headed home the winner three minutes into injury time.

"The game was very difficult and complicated," Spanish coach Javier Clemente said. "It is not common to be down 2-0 in the first few minutes of the game. But I think we eventually showed our superiority in technique."

Australia scored just two minutes into the game. After an offside trap failed, an accurate pass from Australia's packed-in midfield sprung right wing Mark Viduka, who warded off Denia and crossed perfectly to striker Aurelio Vidmar, who tapped it in.

Seven minutes later, the offside trap blundered again. Viduka slipped a pass through and found Stephen Corica racing into the penalty box. Corica's off-balance shot caromed off goalkeeper Juan Mora, but Vidmar stuck in the rebound.

Spain settled down and dominated thereafter. "I think it was a mental thing at the end," Australia coach Edward Thomson said. "We kept giving away possession and trying to force things. We should have been smarter."

ELSEWHERE: Tunisia's Mohamed Mkacher headed in a corner kick with 15 minutes left to tie Argentina 1-1 in Birmingham, Ala. Antoine Sibierski scored from 18 yards in the 49th minute to lift France to a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in Miami.

_ Staff writer Roger Mills contributed to this report.

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