The victory against world champions France is little consolation for Tunisia. Despite the success, the end of the World Cup is sealed. Because Australia books the ticket for the round of 16 in the parallel game against Denmark. The EM semi-finalist is surprisingly also thrown out.
Defeated the world champion and still out - Tunisia weeps for its tragic World Cup heroes. The North Africans defeated a completely listless French B-Elf 1-0 (0-0) in the group final, but they were eliminated because of Australia's parallel victory over Denmark. The brilliant performance full of enthusiasm, struggle and passion was not rewarded.
A Tunisian success was the top priority if they were to have any hope of reaching the knockout stages for the first time. Wahbi Khazri (58th) triggered pure ecstasy among the fans in the Education City Stadium dressed in red and white. But it was less than three minutes before the sobering news of Australia's opening goal made the rounds among the 43,627 spectators. Antoine Griezmann (90. 8) managed the supposed equalizer, which was withdrawn.
"We played much better in the end, but our problems were inevitable," said world champion coach Didier Deschamps, who made nine changes for the group final. His explanation: "You can't always achieve all goals. Today's decisions will help us in four days." Then the group winners France are waiting for the runners-up in group D with Argentina and Poland.
Didier Deschamps had enough of the constant injuries. Paul Pogba or N'Golo Kante before the tournament, Lucas Hernandez and Karim Benzema in Qatar: The coach didn't see it at all to expose his stars to unnecessary risk. Kylian Mbappé and Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé or Olivier Giroud were therefore rested, nine newcomers were allowed to prove themselves and recommend themselves - including Bayern professional Kingsley Coman and Frankfurt Randal Kolo Muani, who was one of the most conspicuous.
Mbappé, Deschamps assured, does not mind. "Kylian doesn't have a big ego. Of course he wants to play - like all players," he said: "Of course he's a star, but he's a team player." And so the most expensive footballer in the world just sat smirking on the bench - the French occupation there read like a potential world champion eleven for December 18th.
Tunisia tried stormily to use the unfamiliar structures in the French game. Nader Ghandri from Club Africain Tunis also thought he had scored the very nice first Tunisian World Cup goal, but he was clearly offside (8'). France shook violently in the first quarter of an hour, Coman was not in the game until the favorites had their first chance (25th) - Tunisia, on the other hand, brought emotion to the pitch, but shots remained imprecise even after the many corners. Khazri (35th) tested Steve Mandanda hard, but too central.
France, with their many players from outside the position, refrained from putting pressure on the Tunisian build-up. If the ball was still conquered, the counterattacks petered out. The North Africans were completely different: Aissa Laidouni pressed Wesley Fofana, got the ball in the opponent's penalty area and shot just over the goal (52'). And Mbappe? At least he warmed up, after the well-deserved 0-1 thanks to Khazri's dribbling skills, he then came into play. He was booed. Later he still had a good chance (89th) for the world champion, who only really tried at the end.