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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

Carthage Eagles end on a high with a famous win over France

By defeating the defending champions France 1-0 in the final Group D match, Tunisia contributed to the list of unexpected results at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Australia defeated Denmark 1-0, but the Eagles of Carthage nevertheless left Qatar with their heads held high despite the admirable hard-fought victory.

With nothing to lose and a likely flight home, Tunisia gave it everything they had against a weaker French team, and they believed they had taken the lead after just ten minutes. Nader Ghandri's outstanding first-touch volley, which came after an outstanding free-kick pass, ended up in the goal, but it was immediately called back for a slight offside.

Unable to take control of the game, France predominantly let a hungry Tunisia dominate. Although Kingsley Coman's shot just missed the left post, this gave France a chance to score as well. The Eagles of Carthage continued to attack Steve Mandanda's goal with a series of shots, the best of which saw Wahbi Khazri unleash a tremendous long shot that forced the veteran goalkeeper to make a save. The omens appeared to be in favor of Jalel Kadri's team entering the second half after they had alternated between victories and defeats in each of their previous five World Cup games against African opponents, defeating Nigeria 2-0 the last time around in 2014.

Tunisia, though lying last in the group, raised hopes of potential qualification with a victory over the defending world champions when Australia and Denmark were locked in a scoreless draw. Their efforts eventually paid off in the 58th minute when skipper Khazri took the initiative and maneuvered through the Les Bleus defense before nicking the ball low into the bottom right corner to score the game's opening goal.

Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembélé were all introduced, but Didier Deschamps' team lacked originality in the final third. However, they increased the stakes in the closing moments in an effort to force Tunisia to lose their third straight encounter in the competition without winning. But thanks to their determination to win, the Africans managed to snap France's six-match World Cup winning streak, preventing Les Bleus from tying Italy's record of seven straight victories. Jalel Kadri's team leaves the World Cup having put on one of the competition's most resolute performances, despite a contentious VAR intervention that prevented Griezmann from scoring at the very end.

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