Tunisia failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup despite producing one of the shocking results in the weekend action. Didier Deschamps made nine changes to his France team and rested Kylian Mbappe, allowing Tunisia to fully capitalize on this situation. Wahbi Khazri scored the game-winning goal in the 58th minute with a stunning solo run. Only when Mbappe was replaced did France begin to exert pressure, and when Griezmann scored to appear to have tied the score, a VAR review revealed that he had been offside during the buildup. Australia defeated Denmark to finish with six points, which caused Tunisia to finish third and exit in an odd way despite having beaten both France and Denmark by four points.
Tunisia recognized their chance and played with the enthusiasm and vigor that their “win or bust” situation pushed them to. When defender Nader Ghandri emphatically turned home Khazri’s vicious delivery inside the first seven minutes, the linesman’s flag prevented him from scoring a historic World Cup goal. Just before the break, Khazri seized a magnificent through the pass, but no teammates were available to convert a superb cross at the back post.
The referee didn’t believe Youssouf Fofana’s feeble defensive shielding or allegations of a foul, but Aissa Laidouni narrowly missed the target with a shot. This time, Tunisia made France pay because Fofana failed to follow the referee’s advice that light contact would not be penalized. This time, Khazri robbed Fofana in midfield, and Fofana paused in the hopes that the referee would signal a foul. When there was no whistle, Khazri displayed incredible calmness to stroll toward the goal and finish by sliding the ball into the far corner. Deschamps called for his big guns after the goal, and Mbappe was let loose. This gave France a platform to enter the game as Tunisia shut down its defense.
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