MATCH CENTRE

THU 28 JUNE 2018, 20:00, MORDOVIA ARENA

1
VS
2

Tunisia restores a little pride for Africa

by Graeme Jackson

Thu June 28, 21:59

Africa’s participation at the 2018 World Cup at least finished on a positive note after Tunisia defeated Panama 2-1 in their final match at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Thursday night.

The result sees the Carthage Eagles end in third place in Group G, while Los Canaleros placed fourth with a hat-trick of losses on their tournament debut.

Both teams showed urgency and intent in attack through the first half, but in truth goalkeepers Jaime Penedo and Aymen Mathlouthi were rarely called upon to make any significant plays.

Penedo’s only real action arrived in the 19th minute when a cross from Wahbi Khazri brought a scruffy effort from Rami Bedoui which the ‘keeper easily smothered.

Panama then claimed the lead through a slice of luck in the 33rd minute. Jose Rodriguez’s long-range effort took a wicked deflection off Yassine Meriah, who was credited with an own goal after the ball wrong-footed Mathlouthi and found the net.

The Carthage Eagles responded well to going behind and created several opportunities to level the game before the break, the best of which saw Fakhreddine Ben Youssef send a glancing header just wide of the target on 39 minutes.

The ginger-haired striker did find the back of the net early in the second half, getting on the end of a low Wahbi Khazri cross and sweeping home a shot from close range to make it 1-1 on 51 minutes.

And Ben Youssef was at it again just a couple of minutes later, running onto a loose ball in the box after Khazri had been tripped up, but Penedo did just enough to turn his goal-bound effort away for a corner kick.

The Carthage Eagles claimed the lead for the first time on 66 minutes, with another slick move ending with left-back Oussama Haddadi providing a low cross for Khazri to turn home at the back post.

Tunisia were able to see out the game safely, and even had the chance to bring on substitutes which ensured all 23 of their players were used during the campaign in Russia.

Panama (1) 1 (Meriah og 33’)
Tunisia (0) 2 (F. Ben Youssef 51’, Khazri 66’)

Panama: Penedo, Machado, R. Torres (Tejada 56’), Escobar, Ovalle, Barcenas, Godoy, Gomez, Avila (Arroyo 81’), Rodriguez. G. Torres (Cummings 46’)

Tunisia: Mathlouthi, Nagguez, Bedoui, Meriah, Haddadi, Sassi (Badri 46’), Skhiri, Chaalali, F. Ben Youssef, Sliti (Khalil 76’), Khazri (Srarfi 89’)

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE MORDOVIA ARENA
PANAMA GOALS TUNISIA GOALS
4. Yassine Meriah (33') (OG) 8. Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (51')
10. Wahbi Khazri (66')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
3 3
PANAMA STARTING LINEUP TUNISIA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
16
Defender
13
Defender
21
Defender
4
Defender
5
Defender
17
Defender
6
Defender
56'
5
Defender
33'
4
Midfielder
20
Midfielder
17
Midfielder
8
Midfielder
44'
46'
13
Midfielder
80'
6
Midfielder
90 + 3'
20
21
Midfielder
76'
23
Midfielder
78'
81'
19
Forward/Striker
51'
8
Forward/Striker
46'
9
Forward/Striker
66'
89'
10
SUBSTITUTIONS
Harold Cummings
Defender
46'
3
Anice Badri
Forward/Striker
46'
9
Luis Tejada
Forward/Striker
56'
18
Ahmed Khalil
Midfielder
76'
15
Abdiel Arroyo
Forward/Striker
81'
16
Bassem Srarfi
Forward/Striker
89'
18
CARDS
Ricard Alvi
Midfielder
78'
19
Ferjani Sassi
Midfielder
44'
13
Gabriel Gómez
Midfielder
80'
6
Anice Badri
Forward/Striker
71'
9
Luis Tejada
Forward/Striker
90 + 6'
18
Ghailene Chaalali
Midfielder
90 + 3'
20
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
COMMENTS
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