Tunisia stunned France to defeat the reigning champions for the first time in their history, securing a narrow 1-0 win over the reigning world champions. The win was, however, not enough for the Carthage Eagles to progress to the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With their fate out of their hands, Tunisia were looking to conjure up a win against the already-qualified France team. The Carthage Eagles faced a second-string side in the game as Les Bleus manager Didier Deschamps opted to rest most of his regulars.
Tunisia were the brighter of both sides in the game as they looked to get the job done on their part. They thought they had the lead in the eighth minute as Nader Ghandri volleyed home a cross from Wahbi Khazri. The defender’s celebrations were cut short by the assistant referee’s flag, indicating that he was offside when he scored.
The African side continued to pile the pressure on their illustrious opponents and managed to force veteran goalkeeper Steven Mandanda into a number of interventions.
Tunisia eventually found the net, and it was through none other than the iconic Khazri. The veteran forward received the ball in the French half of the pitch before evading several challenges and shooting into the bottom corner of the net from inside the box in the 58th minute. It was the Carthage Eagles’ first goal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Deschamps called on the calvary and introduced several of his regular stars, including Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. The French regained control of the match following the changes and began to test the Tunisian rearguard.
France thought they had successfully broken Tunisian hearts as Griezmann converted from inside the box in the eighth minute of added time. A VAR intervention ruled out the effort for offside, and the Carthage Eagles held on for a memorable win.
Despite their win over the champions, Tunisia becomes the first African nation to exit the tournament in Qatar. They successfully inflicted a first World Cup defeat on France since their 2014 quarterfinal loss to Germany.