Tunisia 1-0 France: 5 hits and flops as Wahbi Khazri strike seals memorable win but not enough to reach last 16 | 2022 FIFA World Cup

Tunisia v France: Group D - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Les Bleus suffered a shock loss but are safely through to the next round.

Tunisia secured a bittersweet 1-0 victory over France in their final group game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. However, it wasn't enough to reach the round of 16 as Australia beat Denmark 1-0 in the other game.

Wahbi Khazri scored the only goal of the game for the Eagles of Carthage, who beat the world champions in possibly their biggest win in the quadrennial competition.

France manager Didier Deschamps made wholesale changes (nine) to his XI, resting most of his key players, but the move backfired. Les Bleus were well below their best from the start as Tunisia had them on the ropes for most of the game with their high pressing and electric speed.

Khazri broke the deadlock for the north African side in the 58th minute by driving through the centre and firing past Steve Mandanda.

France made a host of substitutions in response in a desperate attempt to seek their way back into the game.

After a few near misses, Antoine Griezmann appeared to have equalised in the 98th minute with a close-range finish. France's celebrations, though, were cut short after the referee chalked it off for offside following a VAR review.

In the process, the reigning champions saw their nine-game unbeaten run in the World Cup come to an end with an unexpected loss. That, though, had minimal impact on their progression hopes as they won the group on goal difference.

France will now take on the runners-up of Group C in their next game, while Tunisia fly home, albeit with their heads held high. On that note, here're the five hits and flops from the game:


Hit: Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)

Tunisia's talisman rises to the fore again.
Tunisia's talisman rises to the fore again.

Wahbi Khazri is a big-game player for Tunisia. He has now played a direct role in their last five World Cup goals, scoring thrice and assisting two.

The Montpellier forward scored the only goal of the game and in truly inspiring fashion. He stormed through the centre before sending a low drive beyond Mandanda.

That may not have been enough to send the Eagles of Carthage through. Nevertheless, it's probably the most iconic goal of his international career and one that secured Tunisia their biggest World Cup win.


Flop: Randal Kolo Muani (France)

An opportunity missed
An opportunity missed

France manager Didier Deschamps raised eyebrows by starting an inexperienced Randal Kolo Muani against Tunisia. It was a great opportunity for the youngster to make a case for himself, but he spurned it with a disappointing showing.

Muani, who had only made one appearance for Les Bleus before this game, struggled to impose himself against Tunisia and remained a largely peripheral figure.

He lasted the entirety of the game but failed to muster a single effort on target, although the 23-year-old's shot in the 90th minute flew narrowly wide of the post.


Hit: Ellyes Skhiri (Tunisia)

What an impact he had against France!
What an impact he had against France!

He came under fire for a poor display against Australia in their last game. Ellyes Skhiri, though, roared back to form with a brilliant performance in midfield against Les Bleus.

The Cologne midfielder combined vision with anticipation to come up trumps defensively and frustrated the mighty Les Bleus with crucial interventions. Skhiri finished with three interceptions and four tackles and made five ground duels. He also looked to push his team forward with inch-perfect long balls.


Flop: Wajdi Kechrida (Tunisia)

Not the best game for Kechrida
Not the best game for Kechrida

While most of Tunisia's starting XI had a good game, Wajdi Kechrida stuck out like a sorethumb. The midfielder was an unmitigated disaster in the centre of the park.

He got himself in good attacking positions, but his crosses either had too much power or were simply wayward. None of his long balls were accurate as well. Kechrida deserves credit for his fearlessness in his duels with Eduardo Camavinga, but he mostly ended up on the losing side. Moreover, the 27-year-old also lost possession a staggering 26 times.


Hit: Aissa Laidouni (Tunisia)

A huge presence in midfield for Tunisia
A huge presence in midfield for Tunisia

Tunisia's creative hub, Aissa Laidouni, was at the heart of everything good that came from his team as he also bagged the assist for Khazri's goal.

He completed more passes (36) than anyone from his team and made excellent ball recoveries too when France were on the offensive. Laidouni teed up Khazri after winning back possession as well, finding found his captain advancing forward with a simple pass.

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Edited by Bhargav
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