AFCON 2021: Covid-hit Tunisia, Mauritania hope to get campaign up and running - Latest football news in Uganda
May 26, 2022

AFCON 2021: Covid-hit Tunisia, Mauritania hope to get campaign up and running

By Brian Aheebwa
Tunisia National Football Team

Tunisia and Mauritania started the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on a sad note losing 1-0 to Mali and Gambia respectively.

Both teams are in Group F and will go head to head in their second game at Limbe Stadium on Sunday, January 16, looking forward to getting their campaigns up and running.

However, the surge of coronavirus cases in the Eagles of Carthage’s camp headline this fixture. Tunisia has six first team players out of this game after returning positive Covid19 results on Friday.

Naim Sliti and Dylan Bronn started against Mali, Yoann Touzghar and Issam Jebali came on as substitutes but they are all unavailable along with Oussama Haddadi and Mohamed Drager.

Their first game against Mali saw late ugly scenes as centre referee Janny Sikazwe blew twice for fulltime before the 90th minute mark.

It left them furious but they refused to return to the pitch for the final five minutes following CAF’s ruling. They lodged in an appeal for a replay which was dismissed by the Confederation on Friday.

The North Africans will have to put all the above behind their minds if they are to get their tournament back on track, starting with a contest against Mauritania.

On the other hand, head coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa’s side will want to capitalize on that in order to also fancy their chances of going through to the knockout stage.

During the 2019 edition in Egypt where they were debutants, they got eliminated in the group stages, they would wish to at least make a step forward in Cameroon.

Although he missed a penalty against Mali, Saint-Etienne’s Wahbi Khazri will be the player to watch on the side of Tunisia while all eyes will be on former Fulham forward Aboubakar Kamara for Mauritania.

The sides have met ten times previously and Mauritania is yet to master a victory, Tunisia have won seven times while three were stalemates.

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