Former World Cup champions Argentina and Germany got off to winning starts on Wednesday on the opening day of the Confederations Cup.
Always facing high expectations, Argentina defeated Tunisia 2-1 on goals by Juan Riquelme and Javier Saviola.
Under similar pressure, host Germany defeated Australia 4-3 in the 12th game under coach Juergen Klinsmann. Klinsmann has only lost once, a 3-1 slip in December at South Korea.
The eight-team tournament is a prelude to next year's 32-team World Cup finals in Germany. The field is serious, including World Cup champion Brazil, European champion Greece, Asian champion Japan, and Mexico -- the winner of CONCACAF's Gold Cup.
In Group B yesterday, Brazil was to face Greece and Japan played Mexico. The final is June 29 in Frankfurt.
Two-time World Cup champion Argentina had a so-so opening game. It looked like it could always score, but frequently lost possession quickly.
Had Tunisia's Imed Mhadhebi not missed an 18th-minute penalty, it might have been a different outcome for the African champions.
After Mhadhebi failed, Riquelme converted his own his penalty in the 33rd. The penalty came after Tunisia's Hatem Trabelsi was called for fouling Maximiliano Rodriguez in the area.
Saviola, who had several clear chances to score in the first half, broke through in the 57th, chipping in a cross off the right wing from Luciano Galletti.
Tunisia scored on Haykel Guemamdia's penalty in the 72nd. Argentina goalkeeper German Lux was called for bringing down Guemamdia in the area, although TV replays didn't show any clear contact.
"Many positives, and some negatives," Argentina coach Jose Pekerman said. "When we converted the penalty, we were able to relax and had the advantage. It was our first game, and there are lots of things to review."
Asked about his main concern, Pekerman replied: "What bothered me the most was the difficulty we had in keeping possession of the ball and not attacking with more pace."
Three-time World Cup champion Germany had no problem's scoring, but couldn't defend with goals coming from Kevin Kuranyi, Per Mertesacker, Michael Ballack and Lukas Podolski.
Twice early in the game, Australia was down by one goal and came back each time with goals from Josip Skoto and John Aloisi. Ballack made it 3-2 on a penalty and Podolski made it 4-2 before Aloisi scored his second in injury time.
"We were surprised by the strength of the Australian team," Mertesacker said. "It seems like they always had one more player. We still have to learn to defend. We need more experience on defense."
Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer kept his team in the match, particularly early in the second half. Germany 'keeper Oliver Kahn was almost as busy, playing on his 36th birthday.
"We have to get better, because we can't count on scoring four goals in every game," Germany captain Ballack said.
Klinsmann said the match had "more bright spots than dark spots" for Germany.
"The team needs to get more confidence and be less nervous," Klinsmann said. "But what was impressive for me is the way the team kept coming back."
Colombia and hosts Netherlands claimed impressive victories over Canada and Australia respectively in the U-20 World Youth Championship to stay perfect after two matches and claim spots in the next round of the tournament.
Just as they had against Italy in their first match, Colombia left their work late, scoring two goals in the final 10 minutes for a deserved 2-0 victory in Group E from Tilburg.
Captain Abel Aguilar created the all-important first when his free-kick was saved onto the post by keeper Josh Wagenaar, and substitute Radamel Garcia was the first to it for a simple tap-in.
Fredy Guarin, another substitute, doubled the lead for the South Americans with a blistering 30-yard strike in the 88th minute.
With their dominating performance against the "Canucks" -- Colombia had 24 shots to Canada's three -- Eduardo Lara's side is now one of the hot favorites for U-20 glory.
"It is great to qualify, and we have achieved one of our objectives," said the coach. "However, we must take things step by step if we want to reach the final. We must be humble and keep working hard."
The Colombians face Syria in their last group match on Saturday, June 18 again in Tilburg, while Canada take on Italy in Kerkrade.