2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

Russia 2018

Second-half surge sees Tunisia bow out in style

Tunisia will fly home with their first win at the FIFA World Cup™ in 40 years after beating Panama 2-1 at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk. Fakhreddine Ben Youssef made World Cup history during the finale of Russia 2018’s Group G action as his second-half equaliser marked the 2,500th goal in tournament history.

The Carthage Eagles controlled the tempo of the game in the first half and created a few early chances, but Panama took the lead against the run of play from an own goal. Jose Luis Rodriguez’s strike from distance took a deflection off of Tunisia defender Yassine Meriah, which sent goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi the wrong way. Tunisia came out firing in the second half, though, and it was not long before Ben Youssef’s milestone strike levelled the score.

Eleven minutes later, Tunisia No10 Wahbi Khazri put the North African side in front, slotting past Jaime Penedo from close range. The win marked Tunisia’s first victory at the World Cup since Argentina 1978, while Los Canaleros are forced to head home without a point to pack up from their maiden appearance at the competition.

Already eliminated from Russia 2018 prior to the start of today’s fixtures, Tunisia’s win secured third place in Group G as the Central Americans finished bottom.

Team reporter analysis
_Samuel McCollin with Panama [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]              
_Panama played an open match against Tunisia, where both teams were invited to attack, however Tunisia was able to detect Panama’s weaker points, taking advantage of them in the second half. Namely Tunisia's speed caused them problems, and a point was not to be in their debut.

_Tarek Kadri with Tunisia [Twitter | Facebook]             
_Tunisia started both halves well, and in the second half they proved more competent in attack than Panama. They ended their run of 13 consecutive World Cup matches without a win, and it is the first time Tunisia scored more than three goals in a World Cup.

Budweiser Man of the Match
Fakhreddine Ben Youssef earned Man of the Match honours for not only his milestone equaliser but his consistent control in the midfielder for the Carthage Eagles that prevented several Panamanian counter-attacks from troubling the Tunisian backline.

The stat
3 - Tunisia became the eighth team to use all three goalkeepers in one World Cup tournament, with the Carthage Eagles' first two keepers sidelined with injuries. Fakhreddine Ben Youssef was actually designated as the reserve goalkeeper for tonight's match in case anything happened to Aymen Mathlouthi.

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Gallery: Panama 1-2 Tunisia

2018 FIFA World Cup™ 

Gallery: Panama 1-2 Tunisia

28 Jun 2018