Carthage Eagles of Tunisia shock France to exit FIFA World Cup on a high

The Eagles of Carthage defeated the defending champions 1-0 in the final game of the group stages.

Wahbi Khazri was the hero of the day as he scored the only goal of the game to give Tunisia a famous win.

First Half – unlucky Eagles

It was a game of few chances in the opening 45 minutes at the Education City Stadium, where Tunisia showed more promise than their French counterparts.

In what was a game between two much-changed sides, Tunisia made six changes while France made nine, it was the Carthage of Eagles who looked more likely to score.

The Tunisians, who needed the win and three points to remain in the competition and played like a side in desperate need of the win, had the ball in the next through Ghandri but their joy was cut short when it was ruled out by the VAR for offside.

Not deterred by the decision, the Carthage Eagles continued to pile on the pressure on France, who held on to go into the break with nothing to separate both teams.

Second half: Eagles soar but crash out

The second half saw Tunisia start as it ended the first, on a positive note and it wasn’t long until they broke the deadlock.

13 minutes into the second half, the Carthage Eagles were rewarded for their dominance when captain Wahbi Khazri fired in the breakthrough goal.

A forward ball from Laidouni found Khazri, who drove forward, beating two French defenders before poking home past an on-rushing Steve Mandanda in goal for the defending champions.

The goal was Tunisia’s first of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and was no less than the Eagles deserved. They had been the better side for almost an hour and were deserving of their lead.

Moments later, the North Africans were forced to play without their skipper and goalscorer, Khazri, who limped off injured after he was stamped on just before the goal.

Deschamps sends in Mbappe & Griezmann

With the game slipping away from Les Bleus, manager Didier Deschamps was forced to bring on his star players, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

Both players, who combined to send France through to the last 16 in the previous game against Denmark, were rested by their coach after they sealed their ticker to the knockout stages.

With the presence of the trio of Mbappe, Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, Tunisia was fearless and defended obdurately, holding on tightly to their lead for over 90 minutes before France equalised with the last kick of the game through Griezmann.

However, there was drama in the end when the VAR called on the attention of the referee, who ruled out the goal for offside.

What the result means

Despite the win over France, Tunisia has crashed out of the competition after they finished third in Group D behind Australia, who defeated Denmark in the other Group game to join France in the round of 16.