Tunisia fail to advance despite 1-0 victory over much-changed France

Canada Global (Web News) A revitalised Tunisia won a famous match against a French team made up primarily of bench players, but the North Africans’ 1-0 triumph against the defending champions was not enough to advance them to the World Cup knockout rounds.

Tunisia stormed onto the field to battle a disorganised French side that included nine changes from the side that defeated the Danes.

To advance, Tunisia needed to upset already-qualified France and hope that Denmark avoided defeat against Australia in the other Group D game.

Australia defeated Denmark 1-0 and won Group D, they were unable to advance after their victory over the World Cup champions of 2018.

Thus, Tunisia continues its unfortunate streak of failing to advance from the group stage in six World Cup appearances.

When Wahbi Khazri, a Frenchman by birth, dribbled into the area in the 58th minute and slipped the ball past backup goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who at 37 is the oldest Frenchman to participate in a World Cup game, Tunisia earned their third victory in 18 games at the finals.

Victory by Tunisia also put an end to France’s World Cup winning streak of six games.

Early on, Tunisia also presented a threat when Nader Ghandri attempted to flick the ball into the goal off a free kick but the action was flagged for offside.

Atmosphere in the stands was hostile right away, with some Tunisian fans at Education City whistling during the playing of the French national anthem prior to kickoff.

The same thing had occurred during an intense friendly between France and its former colony in 2008 in Paris.

French manager Didier Deschamps offered players who often see very little of the pitch a taste of the action in an effort to rest his stars for the Round of 16.

French back line was frequently pushed back and left wide open by a Tunisian team that was desperate to score, but the French bench lacked cohesiveness.

The goal by the Tunisian captain spurred the French to action, as Deschamps brought in superstars like Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to ignite an underwhelming attack.

Mbappe and Griezmann gave the French a boost, while Tunisia’s decision to hold back in an effort to protect their victory also helped.

In the last moments of their own encounter, Tunisian personnel and substitutes were glued to the other pivotal group stage match.

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