Tunisia eyeing first World Cup return since 2006

Tunisia eyeing first World Cup return since 2006
Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia (l) gets away from Abdoul Razack Traore of Burkina Faso (r) during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon quarterfinal football match between Burkina Faso and Tunisia at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Nov 11, 2017. 12:00

Tunisia will be banking on their home ground advantage as they want to secure a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament when they host Libya on Saturday.

Playing at home, coach Nabil Maaloul and his charges will only need a draw to ensure they are through to the global showpiece.

The Carthage Eagles are sitting at the top of Group A table with 13 points from five matches - they have four wins, one draw and no loss yet.

A draw will be enough to secure their ticket to the global tournament, which will be their first appearance after featuring in the 2006 edition which was staged in Germany.

One of Tunisia's stars, Youssef Msaknisaid they have done well so far in their campaign and has credited God.

“Thanks to God, our campaign has been a success until now," Msakni said.

"Going into our final match in Rades, we need just a single point to qualify for the World Cup.

"This Tunisia team now has a lot of character, and we showed that in our last two games against Congo DR and Guinea.

“Despite trailing both times, we were able to go home with positive results that have made all the difference - we never lost faith our ability."

However, meeting a desperate Libyan side will not be a walk in the park for the hosts.

The Mediterranean Knights will seek revenge after losing 1-0 at home in the reverse fixture.

As they have not reached the World Cup in their history, this match will be used as an opportunity to boost their morale and at least exit the campaign with two wins.

Coach Jalal Damja's side sits at number four in the group with three points after losing four matches, with one win and no draws so far.

The Stade Olympique de Radès will host the highly anticipated encounter on Saturday at 19:30 (CAT).

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