Tunisia team at Afcon 2015
Thursday Nov 12, 2015. 11:40
Mauritania will look to upset continental giants Tunisia when the teams meet for the first leg of their 2018 World Cup qualifier in Nouakchott on Friday. The match will be held at the Olympic Stadium, with kick-off set for 19h00 CAT.
‘Les Mourabitones’ showed their potency with a recent win over South Africa in the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations and will fancy their chances of troubling the Carthage Eagles.
Mauritania have never qualified for the World Cup, with their last attempt to reach the tournament taking place in the preliminaries for the 2010 event in South Africa. They lost all of their games a group which included Rwanda, Morocco and Ethiopia, and were expelled for government interference.
Tunisia, meanwhile, have appeared at four World Cups (1978, 1998, 2002 and 2006). Their attempt to reach the 2014 finals saw them get as far as the final playoff round before they were outclassed by Cameroon.
The Carthage Eagles, under coach Henryk Kasperczak, will be confident of overcoming Mauritania – a team they have beaten before in World Cup qualifiers (5-1 on aggregate in the preliminaries for the 2002 finals) – but the Pole knows they cannot afford to underestimate their opponents.
“They are a team we have a lot of respect for, but the theory is that we have better individuals, better players. So it is up to us to set the rhythm and make the difference against Mauritania,” said Kasperczak..
“But we have respect for that team, because they are lively, well organised and also efficient.”
Gabon referee Eric Otogo-Castane will take charge of the match in Nouakchott. The return game will be held in Rades on 17 November.