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Tunisia v France Live Commentary, 30/11/2022

1 - 0
W. Khazri (58)
Education City Stadium


That's all from us, we'll see you for the next game as the group stage draws to a close. Goodbye!
Tunisia claim their first and only victory at this edition of the World Cup. Australia's 1-0 win over Denmark consigns them to third place in Group D, behind the Socceroos by two points. Denmark finish with just a sole point, while France win the group with six, beating Australia to first place thanks to their superior difference. Les Bleus were already through to the last 16, but after a poor performance in this game, they'll know that no match in this World Cup is to be taken for granted!
While Khazri's goal was one which deserved to win any game, the man who set it up, Aissa Laidouni, was the stand-out player for Tunisia. His assist was one of three key passes, and he completed more passes than any of his team-mates. He also entered the final third 11 times and completed 17 passes in that area of the pitch, while defensively, he won possession 10 times and made two clearances and two interceptions.
It's all over, and despite Australia's win over Denmark putting paid to their chances of reaching the last 16, Tunisia hold on to record an historic victory over the world champions! The Eagles of Carthage secured their breakthrough, and their first goal of the tournament, thanks to Wahbi Khazri's wonderful strike. France piled on the pressure thereafter, and Antoine Griezmann thought he had scored a late equaliser, but VAR put paid to his efforts. Tunisia secure a victory which does not send them through, but will be long remembered in the annuls of Tunisian football.
90' + 10' NO GOAL!!! VAR replays show Griezmann to be a fair few yards offside from Tchouameni's initial cross, and the goal will not stand, meaning Tunisia are back into the lead!
90' + 8' BALL IN THE NET!!! France think they've equalised to seal Tunisia's fate!!! The French pressure finally tells as Tchouameni crosses in from the edge of the box. It's not cleared properly by Tunisia, and Griezmann smashes the loose ball into the far corner! The goal is initially given, but the referee's hearing something in his ear here...
90' + 7' France are having almost exclusive possession at the moment, but Tunisia's packed rearguard is keeping them at arm's length with some desperate blocks, clearances and interceptions!
90' + 5' Jebali clips the heels of Camavinga as the France midfielder looks to recycle possession, and after a chaotic first half, the Real Madrid man has really grown into this game as it's progressed.
90' + 3' BLOCKED!!! Mbappe is felled right on the edge of the area by Chaalali, but France's star man can only blast his free-kick into a strong Tunisian wall!
90' + 1' We're into EIGHT minutes of added time at the end of this game, and will Tunisia be able to hang on here?
90' WIDE!!! Great play from France results in Griezmann squaring for Kolo Muani. He takes a touch before shooting, with his well-hit shot taking a slight nick which sees it roll inches wide of the post!
89' SAVED!!! Mbappe picks up the ball on the left, and shows typically superb skill, speed and dexterity to keep it in play and beat two defenders. He smashes a shot from a tight angle, which is well stopped and parried away by Dahmen!
87' Since scoring, Tunisia have been intent on preserving their slender lead, with it now being 30 minutes since the Eagles of Carthage last attempted a shot in this game.
85' Mbappe cuts inside from the left and switches it to Dembele on the opposite flank. He hangs a cross towards the back post, where Rabiot meets it on the volley and sends the ball across the face of goal and wide!
A. Abdi
A. Ben Slimane
83' Ben Slimane is the third of Tunisia's front three to come off, and Ali Abdi will play the rest of this game.
82' SAVED!!! Another fizzing Griezmann corner results in pinball in the Tunisia box, and Kolo Muani back-heels it into the centre of the area. It's laid off for Dembele on the edge, who smashes a decent effort straight into the gloves of Dahmen!
80' OVER!! Griezmann's corner is met by Disasi in the centre of the box, who heads just over the bar from eight yards out!
79' SAVED!!! Dembele fizzes in a cross from the right which swerves through the air before dipping wildly. It drops to the right of Dahmen, who sees the ball late and pushes it away from danger!
O. Dembélé
M. Guendouzi
79' Another French change sees Guendouzi withdrawn, with another attacking option, in the shape of Ousmane Dembele, replacing him.
78' France look to work the ball down the right, but Laidouni is there again to win the ball in a superb defensive action, and the crowd rises to appreciate his work.
76' It has been 30 minutes since France last attempted a shot in this game, and their performance, regardless of the changes, has been well below-par by the standards Didier Deschamps' men usually strive to set.
G. Chaalali
M. Ben Romdhane
74' Ben Romdhane has been another of the brightest stars for Tunisia in this game, and comes off now for Ghaylene Chaalali to see out the remainder of it.
A. Griezmann
Y. Fofana
73' France go for the jugular with another attacking change, as Fofana comes off for Antoine Griezmann.
72' Tunisia have only kept two clean sheets in their 17 World Cup matches (12 per cent). Among nations to play at least 15 games at the finals, only Saudi Arabia (6 per cent) and Australia (11 per cent) have a poorer clean sheet ratio than Tunisia.
70' Maaloul's cross from deep is headed on by Jebali, and Ben Romdhane latches onto the ball. He races into the box before cutting back onto his right foot, but Disasi dispossesses him before he can pull the trigger!
68' Jebali recovers to dispossess Saliba in midfield before threading a ball forward. Laidouni charges onto the ball, but Tchouameni slides across to force him wide, and Disasi concedes the corner.
67' Jebali and Tchouameni clatter into each other in midfield, and the Tunisia substitute comes off worse. He wins the free-kick in the process, but is limping when he gets to his feet.
65' Mbappe has scored in each of his last three World Cup games, and could be just the second player to score in four in a row for France, after Just Fontaine (six in a row in 1958). Indeed, Fontaine (13) is the only player to score more World Cup goals for France than Mbappe's seven.
K. Mbappé
K. Coman
63' Kylian Mbappe is the joint-top scorer at this World Cup with three goals so far, and he completes France's triple change as he comes on for Coman.
A. Rabiot
J. Veretout
63' Veretout has also been somewhat of a passenger so far, and he's replaced in midfield by Adrien Rabiot.
W. Saliba
R. Varane
63' Varane comes off for France, who have been all over the place at the back, and Arsenal centre-back William Saliba is on for his first minutes of the tournament.
63' Ben Romdhane goes down with a suspected head injury, and so play stops for him to receive treatment. Tunisia's goal celebrations are also somewhat muted by the fact that Australia have scored in the corresponding match, which sends them above the Eagles of Carthage into second place in Group D as it stands.
61' Khazri has now been involved in each of Tunisia's last five goals at the World Cup, with three strikes and two assists.
I. Jebali
W. Khazri
60' That's some send off for Khazri, as the Tunisia captain comes off for Issam Jebali after opening the scoring against the world champions!
A. Laïdouni
58' Fofana lost the ball in midfield, and Laidouni reacted quickly to find his captain advancing forward. Khazri did the rest, and caps off a first hour which has been dominated by Tunisia!
W. Khazri
58' GOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!! Tunisia have their goal!!! It's their first strike of this World Cup finals, and what a way, and what a time, to get it!!! Tunisia win the ball again and Laidouni plays it forward to Khazri. He turns and glides towards goal, stepping beyond two defenders before slotting the ball into the far corner of Mandanda's goal! 1-0 to Tunisia, and as it stands, that goal will be enough to send them into the last 16!
56' Maaloul whips a good cross into the box which Khazri attacks, but the captain slightly mistimes his jump and the ball evades his attempted volley!
54' Kechrida powers down the right and holds off Veretout with ease on his way. He steps beyond Camavinga and looks to chase the loose ball, but it rolls over the touchline before he can get there.
52' OVER!!!! Laidouni chases a throughball into the box, but Disasi intercepts. Laidouni follows in to dispossess the France defender in his own box, before firing a decent effort past Mandanda and over the bar from a tight angle!
50' Tunisia move the ball forward with purpose, and some great one-touch football to boot. Laidouni smashes a cross-field pass with the outside of his foot to Kechrida, but Camavinga makes a brilliant challenge to win the ball back for France.
49' France had just two shots in the first half against Tunisia, their fewest in the first half of a group stage match at a World Cup since 1966.
47' Skhiri flicks a ball back to Khazri, who goes down with his back to goal inside the box! The referee isn't budged, and replays show that although risky, Tchouameni did get a good portion of the ball!
46' France resume proceedings in Al Rayyan, and we're back underway in the second half of this final match in Group D!
The sides return for the second half, and can Tunisia find that all-important goal to shock France and gives themselves hope of qualifying for the last 16?
Recalled captain Wahbi Khazri is making his first start in Tunisia's third game, and his impact so far will make their fans wonder what could've been if he'd been in the XI against Denmark and Australia. As well as setting up Ghandri's offside no-goal, the Montpellier forward has had two shots, two dribbles, and has completed every pass he's made. He's contested six duels so far, winning possession twice in the defensive third of a France side who he's proving to be a nightmare for.
The first half ends, with the world champions looking a shadow of their usual selves! Much-changed France have looked disjointed at both ends of the pitch, while Tunisia are playing exactly like a side who are desperate to win this game at all costs. They've had the ball in the net once, but Ghandri's early volley was ruled out for offside. Since then though, the Eagles of Carthage have peppered the France box with several chances, but the net has eluded them so far and as things stand in Group D, Tunisia are still bottom, and heading home.
45' + 2' BLOCKED!!! France profit from a loose Tunisia pass and Fofana drives forward with the ball. He lets fly from the edge of the box, but Meriah gets in the way!
45' We'll play two minutes of added time to close out this rather uneventful first half.
43' Disasi is the first outfield player to make his debut for the French national team during a World Cup game, since Gabriel De Michele against Mexico in July 1966.
42' CHANCE!!! Tunisia fly forward as Khazri ghosts in behind Camavinga in the box. He drills the ball across the face of goal from the byline, but Disasi flicks it away as the offside flag goes up!
41' France look to create something as Coman jinks in-field before linking up with Disasi to his right. He finds Guendouzi, who attempts to switch play to the left, but his wide pass is behind Camavinga and rolls out for a throw.
39' Kolo Muani shows good skill to keep hold of the ball under pressure on the edge of the box. He lays it off to Fofana and looks for the return ball, but the pass forward is cut out by Talbi.
37' Although playing very, very well at the moment, Tunisia remain winless in the 2022 World Cup. Should they also fail to win this match, it will mean they haven’t won a game in four of their six World Cup appearances (also 1998, 2002, and 2006). The African side have never progressed from their group at the World Cup.
35' SAVED!! Another Tunisian cross is whipped into the French box, and Varane heads it away. It falls to Khazri 35 yards from goal, who smashes a half-volley which the unsighted Mandanda can only parry into the crowd of defenders!
34' WIDE!!! Maaloul fires a cross towards the back post which centre-back Ghandri is steaming onto, but Camavinga knocks it behind with a good piece of defending!
32' Maaloul swings in a corner, but it's headed behind for another by Camavinga. The Tunisia left-back tries another similar ball in, but this time Camavinga's is a powerful one to get the ball away from danger.
30' SAVED!!! Laidouni's attempted cross is blocked, but he's in the box again to receive the resultant throw-in. He curls another cross, on to the head of Ben Slimane, whose glancing effort is held by Mandanda!
W. Kechrida
Yellow Card
28' Kechrida slides in on Camavinga as the France man cuts inside, and the mistimed challenge warrants a yellow card for the Tunisian left-back.
27' France have won each of their last six World Cup games, their longest ever winning run in the competition. Indeed, only Italy (7 between 1934-1938) and Brazil (11 between 2002-2006) have ever had longer winning runs.
25' WIDE!!! Forward come France on the break as Fofana marches up the field. He finds Coman in the box, but the winger's first touch is poor, and the second sees him smash an attempt wide of the target!
23' Ghandri puts his goalkeeper under all sorts of pressure with a woeful backpass, but Dahmen slides in to scythe the ball away with Kolo Muani bearing down on him.
21' Khazri plays a clever one-two with Ben Slimane down the right, but loses the ball to Camavinga. The Tunisia captain looks to win possession back, but does so by fouling France's makeshift left-back.
19' France have alternated between winning (three) and losing (two) in each of their five World Cup matches against African nations, beating Nigeria 2-0 in their last such match in 2014.
17' CHANCE! France lose the ball once again and Tunisia look to make them pay. Ben Slimane outmuscles Varane off the ball and feeds Ben Romdhane, but he can't keep the ball in play and lashes it into the side netting!
15' Kolo Muani drives forward for France and wins a corner. The ball in is flicked on at the front post by Guendouzi, but Talbi volleys the ball clear!
13' Veretout loses the ball in midfield and Khazri races into the box with it. He goes down under very little pressure from Konate, and the referee waves away any potential penalty appeals!
12' More good play from Tunisia sees Ben Slimane release Kechrida down the right. He puts a teasing cross into the box, but Disasi heads it behind for a corner with France under the cosh at the moment!
10' Tunisia are yet to score from 27 shots in their two games at the 2022 World Cup. The African side have never gone through an entire World Cup edition without scoring, with this their sixth appearance.
8' BALL IN THE NET!!! Tunisia think they've taken the lead but the flag is up!!! Tchouameni concedes a free-kick which is curled into the box by Khazri. Ghandri meets the ball at the front post and hits a beautiful side-footed volley to slam the ball beyond Mandanda and into the net! The Tunisia players wheel away in celebration, but they're stopped by the raised offside flag!
7' Aged 37 years and 247 days, Mandanda is now the oldest player to appear for France at a World Cup.
6' The corner in evades everyone but Varane, who scoops it clear out of the goalmouth. Another cross comes into the France box, but Mandanda punches clear.
5' Ben Romdhane dribbles down the byline and cuts the ball back, but it's hoofed behind by Veretout for the first corner of the game!
4' Khazri comes off worse in a fair challenge with Camavinga, and the Tunisian captain rolling over the near touchline for treatment.
3' France have never lost in four previous meetings with Tunisia, with this game being their first encounter since a 1-1 draw in May 2010.
1' Khazri kicks off for Tunisia, and we're underway in Al Rayyan!
The teams head out onto the pitch, and we're nearly ready for kick-off in this Group D decider!
France go three steps further, having made nine changes ahead of this match. Having already qualified, Didier Deschamps gives some players on the fringes of the squad the chance to impress, with captain Hugo Lloris replaced by Steve Mandanda in goal. Raphael Varane keeps his place and captains the side, while Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga slots into a makeshift left-back role, and talisman Kylian Mbappe is replaced in attack by late call-up Randal Kolo Muani.
Tunisia have made six changes from their 1-0 loss to Australia, many of which come in attacking positions for a side still searching for their first goal of the tournament. Captain Wahbi Khazri will lead the line in a false-nine role, looking to bring his teammates into play against a rotated French defence.
FRANCE SUBS: Hugo Lloris, Alphonse Areola, Benjamin Pavard, Jules Kounde, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Adrien Rabiot, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Theo Hernandez, Marcus Thuram.
FRANCE (4-3-3): Steve Mandanda; Axel Disasi, Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konate, Eduardo Camavinga; Youssouf Fofana, Aurelien Tchouameni, Jordan Veretout; Matteo Guendouzi, Randal Kolo Muani, Kingsley Coman.
TUNISIA SUBS: Aymen Balbouli, Bechir Ben Said, Mouez Hassan, Bilel Ifa, Dylan Bronn, Youssef Msakni, Hannibal Mejbri, Issam Jebali, Taha Yassine Khenissi, Ferjani Sassi, Ghaylene Chaalali, Seifeddine Jaziri, Mohamed Drager, Naim Sliti, Ali Abdi.
TUNISIA (3-4-2-1): Aymen Dahmen; Yassine Meriah, Nader Ghandri, Montassar Talbi; Wajdi Kechrida, Ellyes Skhiri, Aissa Laidouni, Ali Maaloul; Anis Ben Slimane, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane; Wahbi Khazri.
The final group match for these two sides will take place simultaneously with Denmark and Australia’s, meaning it’s a winner-takes-all clash, particularly for Tunisia, who need to win, coupled with a draw between Denmark and Australia, in order to progress.
It’s a battle between top and bottom in Group D, as bottom side Tunisia look to pull off an upset against France, who have already qualified for the last 16 and lead their closest challengers Australia by three points.
Hello, and welcome to live coverage of this fixture in the FIFA World Cup, as Tunisia take on France in Al Rayyan.