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Tunisia forward Wahbi Khazri targets "fantastic" Belgium scalp

12:02 BST 19/06/2018
Wahbi Khazri Tunisia
Tunisia star player Wahbi Khazri has set his sights on Belgium, whom they meet on Saturday, seeking to recover from Monday’s loss to England

The North Africans started their Group G campaign on the backfoot, as the 2-1 defeat to England left them pressed for recovery against Belgium in Moscow.

A Harry Kane double sank Tunisia, who almost salvaged a draw after clinging to a 1-1 draw for the better part of the match until the Tottenham forward struck in injury time to decide the contest in Volgograd.

It was an evening on which another African team failed to win in this World Cup. It was yet another late defeat for African nations after Egypt and Morocco were also denied maximum points right at the death by Uruguay and Iran respectively. Moreso, it was set-pieces that doomed Tunisia, having also sealed the fate of Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.

Failure to defend corners and freekicks has proven to be the African teams’ Achilles Heel in this tournament.

Tunisia now face an obviously Herculean task in their next match against an impressive Belgium side that saw off Panama 3-0 earlier on Monday.

Khazri has acknowledged Belgium’s “fantastic” squad, as Tunisia will attempt to pull an upset and recover three points after the England defeat.

“For the first 25 minutes we were playing perfectly, but we sagged in the second half, we lost the rhythm... Now we are set to meet Belgium, they have a fantastic squad, but we will try to score. The support of our (Tunisian) and Russian fans in the stands were just amazing, thanks to them," Khazri told FourFourTwo.

Tunisia have never progressed past the group stages in four previous World Cup appearances.

Now this attempt to reach the knockout stages looks difficult with Tunisia having to beat Belgium.