Tuesday Nov 22, 2022. 17:14
Tunisia and Denmark shared the spoils in an enthralling 0-0 draw in their 2022 World Cup opener on Tuesday afternoon, as the pro-Carthage Eagles crowd were left thoroughly entertained at the Education City Stadium.
The European nation immediately made way into the Tunisia half as the game commenced, however, Tunisia were full of running and looked to disrupt the precise passing sequences made by Denmark.
The Carthage Eagles played with real intensity in the first five minutes and looked to win the ball high-up on the pitch. As the dust settled, Tunisia settled in possession and looked comfortable on the ball after 10 minutes played.
Slimane produced the first real chance of the game as he unleashed a shot at Schmeichel’s goal from the edge of the area which deflected wide for a corner. Tunisia continued to look dangerous going forward and in a breakaway moment, Bronn found Jebali with an accurate through-ball as the attacker made way inside the Denmark penalty area.
Jebali then found the back of the net with a calm finish, however, the goal was chalked off for an offside offence.
As the half-hour mark approached, Denmark began seeing more of the ball and penned the North African side back for prolonged periods of the first 45. In soaking up the pressure Tunisia were thus reduced to hitting Denmark on the break.
With the half coming to a close, Tunisia produced a couple of goalscoring opportunities one of which was dealt with by the Danish goalkeeper who saved Jebali’s close range chip with a telling save.
Denmark got the second-half off as the better team and were neat on the ball, particularly when playing out from the back. Just as the first-half came to a close, Tunisia had to settle with soaking up the pressure early on after the restart.
In looking to continue with their thrusting pressure, Denmark found the back of the net in the 55th minute however, Damsgaard was found to be in an offside position. Moments later, Dolberg came close to breaking the deadlock, as his header on the edge of the six-yard area went wide of the mark.
The tie came to life just before the 70th minute mark, with action being produced at both ends of the pitch. While Eriksen forced Dahman to make a vital save, Jebali caused the Danish defence problems with his movement on and off the ball.
Denmark controlled much of the second-half and kept Tunisia at bay with their slick passing in midfield. In adding some zest to their attack, Jensen and Cornelius looked threatening after being summoned from the bench; however, the African nation did well to neutralise Denmark’s forward movements.
With five minutes left on the clock, Denmark pushed high up and initiated attacks from the half-way line with Eriksen playing in the quarter-back role, in search of openings in the Tunisia back-line.
As the clock ran down, the pro-Tunisia crowd continued to spur the Carthage Eagles on, as they struggled to maintain their first-half intensity. After a Denmark corner deep into added time, the referee was alerted to a potential handball in the area and subsequently went over to the touchline screen to assess the incident. However, no penalty was awarded much to the delight of the Tunisians.
That being said, the game ended in an exciting 0-0 draw despite Denmark’s attempts at breaching the Tunisian goal line.
Denmark: (0) 0
Tunisia: (0) 0
Denmark: Schmeichel, Andersen, Kjaer (Jensen 65’), Christensen, Nissen, Højbjerg, Delaney (Damsgaard 45’), Eriksen, Maehle, Olsen (Cornelius 65’), Dolberg (Lunstrom 65’)
Tunisia: Dahmen, Meriah, Bronn, Talbi, Abdi, Skhiri, Laidouni, (Kechrida 87’) Drager (Sassi 87’), Msakni (Hannibal 79’), Slimane (Sliti 67’), Jebali (Khenissi 79’)