FIFA World Cup 2022: Tunisia beat defending champions France by one goal
FIFA World Cup 2022: It was Tunisia’s third win at the World Cup and France’s first loss at the tournament since losing 1–0 to Germany in the 2014 quarterfinals. Wahbi Khazri scored in the 58th minute to give Tunisia the win, but it was not enough to send them into the round of 16. In the other Group D game, Australia beat Denmark 1-0 to finish second on goal.
The difference was that Khazri ran at the heart of the French defense and beat two players before slotting the ball into the bottom corner. He fell to his knees and his companions were stunned. When he got back up, he gave a heartfelt look to the Tunisian fans behind the goal, then appeared to injure himself as he went down to score his 25th international goal and his third at World Cups.
It was Tunisia’s third win at the World Cup and a 1-0 win over Germany in the 2014 quarter-finals. It was France’s first defeat in the tournament. France forward Antoine Griezmann thought he had equalized in the eighth minute of stoppage time, but he was ruled offside after a video review.
Meanwhile, the Tunisian players on the bench huddled around a TV monitor hoping for a Denmark goal that would change the group standings. A few minutes after Khazri’s goal, a man ran onto the field at the Education City Stadium with a Palestinian flag.
He performed a few stunts before six security officers pulled him away. With France already qualified for the knockout stages, coach Didier Deschamps rested Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, and most of his regular starters.
Only four of the team’s starting line-up had started a World Cup match before, but Khazri’s goal prompted Deschamps to bring on Mbappe and Griezmann. And increased urgency almost led to an equalizer. Along with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 37-year-old Steve Mandanda was playing just the second World Cup match of his long career.
Another was also in the team’s third group game four years ago. A poor performance means Lloris will have to wait a little longer to equal defender Lillian Thuram’s national record of 142 appearances. Lloris made 141 appearances for Les Bleus. He still has 51 goals, level with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading scorer.