Welcome to Sportstar’s live coverage of the FIFA World Cup match between Tunisia and France, being played at the Education City Stadium in Qatar.
Why was the goal disallowed? Read here: Griezmann’s goal ruled offside, explained
Jebai fould Camavinga, and the free-kick is taken quickly. France tries an attack along the wings with Dembele crossing from the right and once that is cleared, Mbappe tries a shot from the left, which goes out for a goal kick.
France gets a free-kick and Mbappe and Griezmann step up for it. The PSG winger takes it and hits the wall. But on the return, he shoots right on target and Dahmen catches it comfortably.
Lovely run by Mbappe along the left flank, cuts in to his right and shoots, forcing a save by Dahmen and Tunisia hang by a striung to its one-goal lead at the Education City Stadium.
Les Blues is playing the way a defending champion plays, dominating possession as Tunisia feels the World Cup round of 16 spot slipping away from its hands after Australia leads against Denmark.
Mbappe switches play from the left to right for Dembele, who crosses it for Rabiot and the Juventus midfielder fails to find a proper contact on the ball, as it bounces off-target.
Save! Griezmann shoots from the corner and after Muani gets the ball to Dembele, he shoots another shot on target. Les Blues has looked a different team after the changes were made by Deschamps, late in the second half.
Save! France, with four of its first-team regulars on the pitch, is finally seeing the match tilt to its favour. Mbappe, Griezmann and Rabiot combine with Griezmann finally entering the box. The box, cleared by Maaloul, is received by Dembele, who shoots on target and Dahman manages to get a touch to it and steer it away.
Change in personnel for Tunisia as well. Ghaylen Chaaleli replaces Ali Ben Romdhane. Romdhane had been a continuous threat against Les Blues tonight.
Skhiri makes a great run, dribbles past three French players, but is eventually stopped and Deschamps makes more additions to its arsenal on the field, with Griezmann replacing Fofana.
France is looking to draw Tunisia in its half in order to release Mbappe, thanks to his blistering pace and Tunisia spots it, dispossesses Rabiot and Maaloul gets the ball to Romdhane. The ball moves from the winger to Jebali, who is fouled by Tchouameni.
France shifts its gear after a rather disappointing attacking performance so far, with Mbappe and Rabiot trying to build an attack. Meanwhile Tchouameni tries to get the ball off Jebali and the Tunisian looks to have taken a knock. However, he gets back on his feet as match resumes.
That was the last touch for Khazri and what a touch it has been. He is replaced by Issam Jebali.
Tunisia fans continue to raise their volume as France and its manager Didier Deschamps looks nervous, struggling to find a grip on the game so far.
Laidouni tries to get to the ball and steals it off Fofana and tries a shot that whizzes past over the crossbar. The France players appeal for a foul, but the referee does not see enough to blow his whistle. The defender is attended by the medical team and he is back on his feet.
France puts its foot on the gas and Tchouameni makes a run into the opposition box and is stopped by Khazri. After a VAR check, no penalty is given as Tunisia attempts to restart its attacking flow, as it did in the first half.
How can Tunisia qualify from here?
A win for Tunisia may just take it to the round of 16 if Australia vs Denmark ends as a draw. In case Australia wins, Tunisia, despite a win, will be out.
If Australia loses and Tunisia wins, the team with a higher goal difference between Denmark and Tunisia will make the cut for the tournament.
In the other, Australia and Denmark are both locked goalless as well. If both games end with the same scoreline, Australia will be through to the last 16, below France.
France will look to take some solace from the perforamnce of its defenders Konate, Varane, Camavinga and Disase with Disase making a great interception from a Khazri cross to deny a tap-in for Tunisia.
Coman tries a run along the right flank and crosses to the centre. Ghandri, who saw his goal being ruled out, clears the ball out of danger.
France attacks against the run of play with Fofana sprinting with the ball, from the midfield to the final third, but Tunisia clears it eventually.
Tunisia’s croner is headed away for another corner by Camavinga and the second time, too, Camavinga clears the ball away.
Tunisia goes for an attack and a cross is def to Khazri from the left, but Konate gets to it first. Another attempt by Tunisia sees the ball headed on target, but Mandanda clings to the ball with a timely jump.
Les Blues finally looks to claw back control in the match and Kechrida tries to get the ball back from Camavinga and ends up getting a yellow card for the late challenge. First yellow card of the match.
France has scored six goals in the tournament so far, but a rather new squad, with nine changes has seen them fail to have a shot on target so far in this game. Tunisia, clearly, has looked the mor dominant side.
All the goal scorers for France in their previous World Cup 2022 matches have been benched as Griezmann and Mbappe watch from the stands. Meanwhile, Khazri makes a dangerous run into the final third, following a defensive mistake by Camavinga. Konate finally comes to the rescue with a timely clearance.
Chance! Tunisia goes goes for another attack and Slimane tries to take control of the ball in front of the goalkeeper, just when Konate tracks back to dispossess him off the ball and Romdhane’s attempt to keep the ball in play ends to nothing as the ball goes out off his touch for a goal kick.
Chance for set-pieces for France this time, with Tchouameni taking the corner kick, which is headed into the block hole by Guendouzi, only to see the white shirts clear the ball away.
Foul! Veretout loses the ball and fouls Slimane givng Tunisia another free kick. This time, Khazri’s left-footed curler lands in the gloves of Mandanda.
Khazri takes the Tunisia corner, which curls and almost gets into the net. It lands on top of the goal, with Mandanda hardly troubled by the Montpellier player’s antiques.
Tunisia has not scored in this World Cup so far, the first time in its six appearances in the tournament. With the goal disallowed, its pursuit continues, despite finding no breakthrough through 27 shots from it so far at Qatar 2022.
France enjoying fair bit of possession now as it gets a grip on the match. Tcouameni loses the ball as Romdhane steals it and makes a run along the left flank and the Real Madrid player concedes a foul. Free kick for Tunisia.
Romdhane makes a run along the left flank, passes to Slimane, but the ball is cleared for a Tunisia corner, which is finally scooped away by Varane. He is one of the only two players, alongside Tchouameni to start from France’s previous match against Denmark.
France, on the other hand, is subject to a very high press and Khazri goes down, following a Camavinga challenge. The Tunisia No. 10 eventually gets back on his feet and no foul is given as the Real Madrid player had got to the ball first.
Tunisia gets the ball rolling in at the Education City Stadium with an attempt to start slowly from the back. It tries to deliver through balls along the flank, but Camavinga intercepts to force Tunisia in its own half.
8:15 pm: Tunisia vs France Head-to-head:
Tunisia and France have met five times since 1971 and Les Blues has won twice and Tunisia has won once, while the remaining two fixtures have been draws.
- ⦿October 7, 1971: Tunisia 2-1 France (Mediterranean Games)
- ⦿May 19, 1978: Tunisia 0-2 France (International Friendly)
- ⦿August 21, 2002: Tunisia 1-1 France (International Friendly)
- ⦿October 14, 2008: Tunisia 1-3 France (International Friendly)
- ⦿May 30, 2010: Tunisia 1-1 France (International Friendly)
8:00 pm: Form guide:
Tunisia has two wins in its last five matches and it is without a win in the FIFA World Cup. France, on the other hand, has two losses in its last five matches and has a 100 per cent win record in the World Cu so far.
Tunisia last five matches:
- ⦿ Tunisia 0-1 Australia
- ⦿ Denmark 0-0 Tunisia
- ⦿ Tunisia 1-5 Brazil
- ⦿ Japan 0-3 Tunisia
- ⦿ Chile 0-2 Tunisia
France last five matches:
- ⦿ France 2-1 Denmark
- ⦿ France 4-1 Australia
- ⦿ Denmark 2-0 France
- ⦿ France 2-0 Austria
- ⦿ France 0-1 Croatia
7:40 pm: Chance for Tunisia to script history?
Tunisia has never gone past the group stage in the FIFA World Cup ad currently is at the bottom of Group D with one point.
Tunisia’s fans are entering the stadium with hope of seeing history, if their team can beat France by a greater goal difference and Denmark can beat Australia.
7:20 pm: Who can France face next, in the round of 16?
France starts with nine changes from its previous match win, over Denmark. Les Blues has not won its final group stage FIFA World Cup game since 2006 and irrespective of the result against Tunisia, it will play in the round of 16, in Qatar.
Who can France face next, in the round of 16? Read here: France’s potential Round of 16 opponents
The stadium and dressing rooms are set before the final matchday of Group D.
Defending champion France has not won all three of its World Cup group matches since claiming its first title in 1998.
Tunisia hasn’t even won three matches in its World Cup history, but the team needs to beat France on Wednesday to have any chance of advancing to the round of 16 in Qatar. And Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri is feeling the pressure
“I’m not in Jalel’s position,” France coach Didier Deschamps said. “But they will go for broke.”
Kadri said before the tournament it was his “personal mission” to advance past the group stage and hinted he would quit otherwise.
“Let’s wait for the result of the match and we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be able to answer your question after the match,” Kadri said when asked Tuesday if he’ll resign if Tunisia gets eliminated. “We are still alive and we are still present.”
The French are looking to match the 1998 team captained by Deschamps. But with Les Bleus already qualified, they only need a draw to guarantee first place in Group D so Deschamps has the luxury of resting key players.
“There will be changes,” he said. “Everyone’s ready to play.”
He was evasive when asked if the prolific Kylian Mbappé insisted on playing or accepts he needs a breather.
“Physically he’s fine,” Deschamps said. “Kylian doesn’t have a big ego. He’s important for us and makes the difference. But he’s always accepted what the team needs.”
One option is to move Antoine Griezmann up from his new position in right midfield into a striker’s role alongside Olivier Giroud, who needs one more goal to become France’s all-time leading scorer with 52.
Deschamps hailed the unselfishness of Griezmann, a prolific forward himself with 42 goals and 26 assists for France.
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“He gets as much pleasure tackling someone as setting up a goal,” Deschamps said. “He’s always been like that. For him it’s not even been a sacrifice (in midfield).”
The gulf between the sides looks vast.
France has six goals in two games — three from Mbappé and two from Giroud — while Tunisia was held to a 0-0 draw with Denmark and missed some chances in a 1-0 loss to Australia.
The Tunisians have never been past the group stage in five World Cups and their two wins were 40 years apart — against Mexico in 1978 and against Panama four years ago in Russia.
“Nothing is impossible. I believe in the players,” Kadri said. “We want our fans to be proud of us.”
Despite good technical ability, the team has failed to score in Qatar despite the presence of attacking midfielders Naim Sliti and Wahbi Khazri, who had two goals at the last World Cup and has 24 for the national team.
France, however, carries multiple attacking threats.
Deschamps has always been a shrewd tactician, with deep layers of tactical knowledge gleaned from playing and coaching in Italy with Juventus. In Qatar, he’s kept things more simple with a direct approach that has surprised opponents, using the wings as his main route to goal.
It worked immediately, with the team scoring with three headers — a rarity for France — against Australia.
The pace of Mbappé on the left and Ousmane Dembélé on the right works well with the ideal marksman in Giroud benefitting from the crosses. If Dembélé comes off, then Deschamps can turn to Kingsley Coman, who scored Bayern Munich’s winner in the 2020 Champions League final.
“Our wide players make the difference. Look at who they are,” France central defender Raphael Varane said. “Going wide knocks our opponents off balance.”
The French seem very relaxed at this World Cup, which hasn’t always been the case, notably when the squad went on strike at training at the 2010 tournament.
Midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni even started learning piano on Monday night, joining a group of wannabe musicians in the squad.
“Hopefully,” he joked, “if we win the World Cup we can put on a concert.”