Mauritania vs Tunisia: Goalkeeping errors concern Alain Giresse

Alain Giresse has a goalkeeping dilemma ahead of Tunisia's crunch AFCON meeting with Mauritania.

Alain Giresse: "I admit that we have a problem concerning goalkeepers and we changed ours in the first matches." Photo: AFP

Tunisia coach Alain Giresse has concerns over his goalkeepers following a pair of errors to start its Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

Following a mistake from Farouk Ben Mustapha in a 1-1 draw with Angola in Tunisia's opening Group E match, Giresse changed his keeper to face Mali. However, a blunder from Mouez Hassen led to Mali's opener and only Wahbi Khazri's deflected strike rescued a share of the spoils.

Tunisia heads into Tuesday's clash with tournament debutant Mauritania in need of a victory to ensure its progression to the last 16 and Giresse did not shy away from acknowledging Tunisia's problem between the posts.

PREVIEW | Angola vs Mali

"The match is very important and we are obliged to win to qualify for the next round," Giresse told a news conference. "I admit that we have a problem concerning goalkeepers and we changed ours in the first matches."

After a 4-1 defeat to Mali, Mauritania drew 0-0 with Angola on Saturday to get itself on the board in Group E.

 

It would need to cause a huge upset to claim the win required to have a chance of going through as one of the best third-placed sides, and coach Corentin Martins conceded qualification for the last 16 is unlikely, though not impossible. "I wanted to focus on defence because in the first game we conceded four goals," he told a news conference.

"We have to be happy with an historic first point. We can qualify, even if our chances are one per cent. It's going to be a final for us and we hope to roll out a great performance."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mauritania — Adama Ba

Adama Ba went close to breaking the deadlock against Angola and will be keen to make up for his miss in Tuesday's match.

Tunisia — Wahbi Khazri

While Tunisia's goalkeepers have been letting it down, Khazri has performed well at the other end of the pitch. His free-kick salvaged a point against Mali and was just reward for some excellent play. The former Sunderland playmaker will be key to breaking down Mauritania.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Tunisia has lost only one of its last nine AFCON group stage games.
- Mauritania had one shot on target in its first two outings, fewer than any other side.
- Tunisia has failed to keep a clean sheet in its last 12 AFCON games, last doing so in 2013 against Algeria.
- Khazri has scored two of Tunisia's last three AFCON goals.

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