AFCON 2021: Depleted Tunisia dump Nigeria to march to quarters - Latest football news in Uganda
May 26, 2022

AFCON 2021: Depleted Tunisia dump Nigeria to march to quarters

By Allan Damba
Action between Nigeria and Tunisia at the 2021 Africa Cu of Nations | CAF Image

A Covid-19 affected Tunisia stunned favourites Nigeria 1-0 to cruise through to the quarterfinals of the Cameroon Africa Cup of Nations.

Skipper Youssef Msakini netted a second half goal at the State Omnisport Roumde Adjia on Sunday to eliminate the three time champions.

Tunisia were either without a number of players through Covid whereas others including Wahbi Khazri were forced on the bench after days of battling with the pandemic.

However, it did not stop them from holding on to edge Nigeria, who had won all the group games.

In the first half of very limited goalscoring opportunities, Tunisia through Omar Talbi went close with a volley but Nigeria’s custodian Emil Maduka Okoye saved well to keep it at 0-0.

Nigeria also threatened through Joseph Aribo who turned sharply at the edge of the box but his low left-footed shot was deflected into the side netting.

A minute after the restart, Tunisia, on the first opportunity of the half, grabbed a huge goal through Msakini’s 25 yard powerful effort.

Seven minutes after his introduction, in the 66th minute, Alex Iwobi was given marching orders for a reckless tackle on the goalscorer, Msakini, to pile more problems to the Super Eagles.

At 74 minutes, Naim Sliti, who had just come on for Hamza Rafia aimed a goal-bound effort but Okoye brilliantly saved to deny Tunisia a second.

Moses Simon had a chance to score from a freekick at 82 minutes but it narrowly flew over the crossbar.

Sadiq Umar nearly grabbed the leveller at the death as he passed a goal-bound effort that had beaten the goalkeeper but it agonizingly sailed off target.

As Nigeria head home, for the last eight, Tunisia will now take on Burkina Faso who beat Gabon via penalties on Sunday.

How they lined up

Nigeria: Emil Maduka Okoye(GK), Ola Aina, Joseph Aribo,Zaidu Sanusi, Wilfred Ndidi, William Troost Ekong, Awoninyi Taiwo, Kelechi Iheanacho, Kenneth Omeruo, Moses Simon, Samuel Chwukueze,

Substitutions: Jamil Collins, Francis Uzoho, Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Nwakali, Harold Ndah, Peter Olayinka, John Noble, Ajayi Adesewo, Henry Onyekuru, Tyrone Ebuhe, Sadiq Umar, Peter Olayinka.

Tunisia: Bechir Ben Said (GK), Bilel Ifa, Omar Talbi, Saif Khaoui, Saifeddine Jaziri, Ali Elabdi, Ellyes Skhiri, Hamza Rafia, Ben Slimane, Aissa Bilal Laidouni, Youseff Msakini (c)

Substitutions: Farouk Ben Mustafa, Omar Rekik, Oussamma Hadadi, Mahmoud Bronn, Yoann Touzghar, Wahbi Khazir, Ali Maaloul, Hannibal Mejbri, Dahmab Aymen, Ghaylen Chaleli Ben Romdhane, Naim Sliti

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