Giresse, Drager on Tunisia’s third-place hopes

Giresse, Drager on Tunisia’s third-place hopes
Alain Giresse, coach of Tunisia

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jul 17, 2019. 12:00

Tunisia coach Alain Giresse and defender Mohamed Drager have talked up their team’s chances of winning the third-place playoff at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The North Africans will face Nigeria in the match for the bronze medals tonight (Wednesday) at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

Tunisia’s hopes of reaching a first Nations Cup final since winning the competition in 2004 were dashed on Sunday night when they lost 1-0 to Senegal in the semis.

In a match which went to extra time and was decided by an own goal from Carthage Eagles defender Dylan Bronn, the Tunisians put in a strong showing and could consider themselves somewhat unfortunate not to advance.

They were also denied a late penalty after VAR overturned a hand-ball decision against Senegal’s Idrissa Gueye – something which still rankles Drager.

“We tried to keep in a good shape in front of Senegal and we were so close to reach the final,” he said at Tunisia’s pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“But now we’ll try to get the third place. Yes, VAR affected the team’s chances in going to the final, for me the penalty was clear, but we have to accept the situation now.”

Coach Giresse says he is expecting a tough game against the Super Eagles.

“The match will be very difficult physical- and technical-wise and we’ll try everything we can to achieve the third place,” said the Frenchman.

“Of course we wanted to reach the final but now we focus on the third place. I can’t say that all my players are perfectly fit, we have little time to know how ready the players are.”

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