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Tunisia’s Round of 16 Chances Fade Away


Tunisian fans cry after their team lost 1-0 to Australia in a Group D match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, November 26, 2022

Tunisian football fans were left shocked Saturday after the North African nation lost 1-0 to Australia in their second Group D match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Australian forward Mitchell Duke shocked Tunisian football fans after he helped the Socceroos secure a 1-0 victory over the Carthage Eagles.

The 31-year-old forward revived Australia’s hopes of making it to the round of 16 after he scored against the North Africans in the 23rd minute, securing three points and second position in Group D for his nation.

Duke said his goal was momentous for the Australian side and marked an important part of his footballing career.

“Obviously the moment I scored was pure ecstasy for me,” said Duke, adding, “I’d heard only seven Australians had scored at the World Cup and I told coach Graham Arnold that I’d be the eighth or the ninth.”

Australia's Mitchell Duke scores against Tunisia in a Group D match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, November 26, 2022
Australia's Mitchell Duke scores against Tunisia in a Group D match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, November 26, 2022

Jalel Kadri, Tunisia’s head coach said his team lacked the final touch in their match against the Australians and have compromised their chances of progressing to the round of 16.

“The situation changed for us in the second half, and we created several chances but failed to put the ball in,” said Kadri, adding, “we lost a crucial match, but we will give everything we have in the last match.”

Tunisia's head coach Jalel Kadri reacts during a Group D match against Australia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, November 26, 2022
Tunisia's head coach Jalel Kadri reacts during a Group D match against Australia at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar, November 26, 2022

Despite the Group D loss, the North Africans dominated their opposition having maintained 46 percent ball possession and four shots on target.

The Australians secured a minority 38 percent ball possession and two shots on target.

Football analysts say Tunisia is presently in last position of Group D and face an uphill task of having to defeat the reigning champions France in their last group match, which is scheduled for November 30, to secure a chance of progressing to the round of 16.

The French are set to play Denmark on Saturday and if they emerge victorious will solidify their spot in the round of 16.

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