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Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri brilliant display in the final Group D match against defending champion France produced a 1-0 victory for the North African side.

The 58 minutes goal through a solo run obviously outshined Didier Deschamp’s men with the French coach making nine changes to his French side and resting Kylian Mbappe. The Africans had soaked the early stages of pressure from the Les Blues before twisting much later to take control of play in the first half.

On realising that the French were beatable having created opportunities, Tunisia increased the momentum in the later stages of the first half. They played with intensity, verve and energy rising to the occasion. Man of the Match Khazri was a beauty in performance, he latched onto a glorious ball through just before the break but his team mates were not on hand to convert to the back of the post, after a wonderful cross.

The half ended goalless and marked hope for Tunisia in the second half considering their outstanding football artistry in the better part of the first stanza.

On return to the second half play after the break, Tunisia remained in the ascendancy and when the opportunity came, Khazri didn’t waste time in delivering after Fofana poor defending. Realising no whistle from the referee the midfielder showed composure to saunter through on goal, good pace and slide a finish into the far corner, obviously and descriptively the far side of the corner welcome the ball.

Deschamps, observing the sudden change of rhythm by the African side, for sure hunting for another goal, the French coach introduced the big masquerade Klylan Mbappe. His introduction unleashed intensity and allowed France a platform into the game as Tunisia shut up shop in defence.

In the defense for France it now looked better as their attackers pressured Tunisia for an equaliser, affording the weak shielding and claims of foul just like the Youssouf Fofana’s call which was ignored before Khazri unleashed his effort for the goal.

Referee Aissa Laidouni who obviously deserves applause for good officiating, gave the game confidence for not whistling light body contacts and allowed the game a good flow, which France played better after conceding the goal and substitution of Mbappe on the pitch.

As the clock ticked towards the twilight of the match France was in control but the rock defense of Tunisia was on hand to prevent an equaliser. The French came close towards the ninth minute of added-on time, Griezmann looked to have broken the hearts of the Tunisian by firing a close ball in the box. However, a review after calls triggered the referee for the VAR ordered on the pitch-side and after his review the goal was chalked off and Tunisia went on to win in dramatic finish but crashed out of the tournament.

Khazri and his team mates obviously will feel unfortunate heading the next flight back home to Tunisia. Although, the quality of play and Man of the Match performance and winner which Khazri claimed showed the future of Tunisian football that is backed with vibrancy and energetic performance.

Meanwhile, France has submitted a complaint to FIFA after seeing their late Antoine Griezmann equaliser against Tunisia ruled out in a VAR controversy. The Les Blues despite securing a place in the knock-out stages were left angered after Griezmann’s 98th minute strike was chalked off as they succumbed 1-0 to the Tunisians in a momentous win in spite of the North Africans exiting from the tournament. France is joined by the Australians in the round of 16 after dumped out Denmark in Group D.

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