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A Bittersweet Ending For Tunisia At The 2022 World Cup

By Jeff Stinger

Tunisia failed to make it out of the group stage despite pulling off the biggest upset of the 2022 FIFA World Cup so far. The squad needed to defeat a France team that already qualified for the next round, with the rest of their fate relying on the Australia vs. Denmark match results. They needed a draw from the other Group D match last night. However, their hard-earned victory over the defending champions was overshadowed by a 1-0 Australian victory.

The rest of the results did not go their way even though Tunisia poured their hearts out against France. It was a brilliant performance from the underdogs and one that the nation will never forget. That said, let’s take a look at how the North African team did in their sixth World Cup appearance.

Tunisia’s short but sweet 2022 FIFA World Cup run

READ MORE: France, Brazil, and Portugal Secure Ticket to Knockout Stage

Tunisia bow out with their heads up high

While France mostly played their reserves in the starting XI in the wake of two comfortable means, it should have been a comfortable victory for them. Tunisia was a clear sleeper of the group but proved everyone otherwise. Nevertheless, the African nation closed its final game with a bang. Their strong showing throughout the tournament kept everyone in Group D on their toes. It was not enough to prevent them from losing out to Australia for their first Round of 16 appearance. But ultimately, they leave the tournament behind a proud nation.

Group D wraps up with France maintaining the top spot. The 2018 champions amassed two victories and six goals in three games. Tying them for six points is the Australian squad who only lost to France during the group stage. The Socceroos quickly recovered from an opening-game defeat and scored back-to-back wins to claim second place in Group D.

Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia’s hero

The 31-year-old forward from Montpellier scored the only goal of the game as Tunisia upset World Cup holders France 1-0. He steered home a 58th-minute winner through a bunch of defenders for their third victory at a World Cup tournament. Khazri grew up in Corsica and was one of six French-born players in the lineup and he was capped by France at the under-21 level.

Tunisia held on for victory as Antoine Griezmann slotted one in beyond regulation time. The Carthage Eagles were disheartened but the final decision went in their favor following a VAR review. Meanwhile, there was a crowd of Tunisia players on the bench hoping for a Denmark goal that would have changed the narrative. Sadly, the final result of the Australia vs. Denmark clash went in favor of the Aussies.

Nevertheless, there’s a large Tunisian community that will embrace this result. This marks the country’s first win against European opposition at a World Cup and just their third-ever in 18 matches at the prestigious competition.

Group D drama

While the Frenchmen comfortably claimed a position in the next round, the fight for the final spot remained tight until the final minutes. Australia had to force a win against Denmark, who was already eliminated from the competition regardless of the result. However, a Denmark win would have greatly benefited a Tunisia victory over the defending champs. A French victory could have given the Australians breathing room as well.

With the Round of 16 picture starting to take shape, we find Australia in a matchup against +472 2022 World Cup winners Argentina. They take on the South American squad as +2,018 underdogs this weekend. The defending champions, on the other hand, take on the second-best team of Group C. They are the clear favorites of the two at -333 match winners.

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