Tunisia lament missed chances as they lose Cup of Nations semi-final

Reuters , Monday 15 Jul 2019,
Views:630
Tunisia
Tunisia's forward Wahbi Khazri (L) fights for the ball with Senegal's defender Youssouf Sabaly during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Semi-final football match between Senegal and Tunisia at the 30 June stadium in Cairo on July 14, 2019. (Photo: AFP)

An own goal in extra time and a controversial Video Assistant Referee decision contrived to deny Tunisia a place in the Africa Cup of Nations final but they also have themselves to blame for missing chances against more fancied Senegal in the semi-final.

An own goal from centre back Dylan Bronn, who did not see the ball as it hit him on the side of the head after goalkeeper Moez Hassen had completely missed a cross after coming out to collect, settled Sunday's clash and denied Tunisia what would have been a fourth appearance in the final.

"When you're eliminated, the prevailing emotion is one of massive disappointment," said coach Alain Giresse, who lost with Mali in the 2012 semi-final.

"The important thing when you are playing these kind of games is just to win. The performance of the team showed we were at the same level as Senegal and worthy of being in the semi-final."

"We had opportunities, but we did not know how to turn them into goals," the former France international told reporters.

"There were things in the game that contrived to ensure elimination for us."

First, striker Taha Yasine Khennissi squandered two breakaway chances in the second half, when he was free of Senegal's experienced defenders.

He hit the first over the target and a heavy touch on the second allowed Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis to come off his line and smother the ball.

Ferjani Sassi then had his 73rd minute penalty saved.

It was a feeble effort as he stuttered in his run-up and had Giresse cursing loudly on the touchline as a golden chance was fluffed.

Hassen's goalkeeping blunder proved the tipping point but not before the former French youth international saved Senegal's 80th minute spot-kick to force the game into extra time.

And to cap a forgettable day for the north Africans, they were awarded a penalty near the end of extra time, handing them a chance to equalise, only for the decision to be changed after referee Bamlak Tessema consulted VAR.

"There was almost a sense of fatalism about it," added Giresse, whose side effectively only won a single match yet reached the final four.

They bungled their way through the group phase but still qualified second after three successive draws, then eliminated Ghana on penalties before a convincing 3-0 win over rookies Madagascar in the quarter-final.

Tunisia will now play Nigeria for the bronze medal in Cairo on Wednesday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link:

 

ADD COMMENT

 
 
 
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

More news

More
Group A W D L P
Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1