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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Tunisia rediscovered a certain level against Ghana - Giresse

08:19 BST 09/07/2019
Alain-Giresse-Tunisia-Afcon
The French coach states the Carthage Eagles had to move up a gear to end their poor run against the Black Stars

Tunisia coach Alan Giresse has described his side’s qualification for the quarter-final of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as a difficult achievement.

After letting in a late equaliser, the Carthage Eagles finally overcame the Black Stars in the ensuing penalty kicks which ended 5-4 in their favour.

This is the first time Tunisia have gone through a knockout game at Afcon since 2004 against Morocco (2-1) when they hosted the tournament.

“It was a difficult qualification, I can’t say much more - it was the most important, the qualification,” the French coach said after Monday’s Round of 16 tie at Ismailia Stadium.

“We have worked, we have rediscovered a certain level.”

While admitting he never knew Tunisia have failed to win an Afcon knockout game in 15 years, coach Giresse stated he is very satisfied that the poor record is now over.

“I didn’t know this stat. I didn’t know this statistic before today [Monday]. I just have the satisfaction that we have qualified today,” the Tunisia coach added.

Substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha was the hero for the Carthage Eagles, coming on for the shootout and saving Caleb Ekuban's penalty.

Tunisia could have won the Round of 16 tie within 90 minutes, but substitute Rami Bedoui headed into his own net in injury time, with his first touch.

The Carthage Eagles had led in Ismailia through Taha Yassine Khenissi's goal from Wajdi Kechrida's cross. He would have Mustapha to thank as his unforced error ultimately wasn't punished by the result.