from HUSSEIN HUSSAIN in Doha, Qatar
DOHA, (CAJ News) – TUNISIA put on one of their most gallant performances ever at the World Cup – against the defending champions France – but that was insufficient as they were eliminated from Qatar on Wednesday.
The North African side is the first team from the continent to bow out of the tournament in Qatar but did so in the most excruciating and dramatic fashion, having beaten the French 1-0 at the Education City.
A 58th minute goal by Wahbi Khazri was deserved reward for coach Jalel Kadri’s side.
He profited from a defensive lapse by Youssouf Fofana to fire a low finish past goal keeper Steve Mandanda.
They went on to survive a late onslaught by France, led by in-form Kylian Mbappe, a substitute here.
France appeared to have scored an equalizer with the last kick of the match but Antoine Griezmann’s effort was ruled out after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.
In the end Tunisia held on for their third ever win at the World Cup.
Tunisia came into this Group D match with their destiny not entirely in their hands for the Last 16 qualification.
This after a single point from the previous two matches, a goalless draw versus Denmark and 1-0 loss to Australia.
Australia’s 1-0 win over Denmark in the other Group D match at the Al Janoub proved costly for the Tunisian’s prospects. France had already secured qualification for the knockout stage with maximum points from their opening matches.
Tunisia finish third and Denmark bottom.
Tunisia’s exit is almost similar to 1978 when they became the first African team to win a World Cup game, defeating Mexico 3–1 in Argentina.
It was not enough as Poland and West Germany qualified to the knockout stage.
– CAJ News