Tunisia added to the list of upsets at the 2022 FIFA World Cup by defeating defending champions France 1-0 in the previous Gathering D encounter. Despite the magnificent hard-fought victory, the Hawks of Carthage leave Qatar with their heads held high after Australia’s 1-0 win over Denmark.
With nothing to lose and a logical return home in sight, Tunisia went all out against a second-string French side and thought they had taken the lead in less than 10 minutes. However, Nader Ghandri’s unusual first-contact volley that finished toward the back of the net after a superb free-kick delivery was promptly ruled offside.
France assumed a supporting role to an eager Tunisia, but came dangerously close to opening the actual halt when Kingsley Coman sent his shot wide of the left post. That had no effect on the Falcons of Carthage, who continued to beat Steve Mandanda’s goal with progressive efforts, the best of which saw Wahbi Khazri force the veteran manager into a save with a deafening long-range volley. After alternating between success and failure in each of their previous five World Cup games against African countries, including a 2-0 victory over Nigeria in 2014, the signs were mixed for Jalel Kadri’s men heading into the final round.
Tunisia is in a similar situation to Australia and Denmark, gathered any expectations of likely capability with a victory over the dominant title holders despite lying lower in the crowd In the end, their efforts paid off in the 58th minute, when skipper Khazri moved forward and wound through the Les Bleus defense before scratching the ball low into the base right corner to draw first blood.
Despite the performances of Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembélé, Didier Deschamps’ men fell short of expectations in the final third. In any case, they upped the ante in the final minutes in an attempt to prevent Tunisia from losing their third consecutive match in the competition. Regardless, kudos to the Africans’ determination to achieve success and figured out how to end France’s six-match winning streak at the World Cup, as Les Bleus failed to match Italy’s record of seven consecutive victories. With their fortunes resting elsewhere, Jalel Kadri’s side leaves the World Cup having emerged as one of the competition’s most steadfast displays, despite a contentious VAR intervention denying Griezmann an objective at the death.