There’s Always a First Time
Tunisia played its first World Cup odds in 1978 when soccer’s grandest stage was played by 16 teams, that’s why we won’t take it into account for this article. After that, the Eagles of Carthage have played in four other editions, starting in 1998, the first with 32 teams.
Nevertheless, they didn’t win their first Group Stage match until 2018, so let’s go over how it happened.
After missing the 2010 and 2014 editions, Tunisia managed to qualify for Russia 2018 undefeated. The Eagles of Carthage finished with a 6-2-0 record, 15 goals for and only six against. Therefore, expectations towards the WC were high.
Those expectations changed after the draw as Tunisia was paired with England, Belgium, and Panama. The two European sides were among the betting online favorites to win the title, while Los Canaleros were going to play the world cup soccer 2022 for the first time, meaning they were eager to do a good job to introduce themselves to the world.
Even so, the Eagles of Carthage did their best and managed to win their first match in a 32-team WC after 11 tries.
They made their debut against England and, against all odds, managed to make the Three Lions suffer. The game finished 2-1 with Harry Kane scoring the winning goal in stoppage time. Five days later, they were crushed 5-2 by Belgium. The first half finished 3-0, so they never stood a chance.
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Already eliminated, they had nothing to lose against Panama. Therefore, the Eagles of Carthage went all-in right from the start. Los Canaleros started winning thanks to an own goal scored by Yassine Meriah, but they didn’t despair.
After the break, they embraced a do-or-die attitude and managed to turn things around. Fakhreddine Ben Youssef scored the equalizer only six minutes into the second half. Wahbi Khazri, who remains Tunisia’s top player, scored the winning goal 15 minutes later.
They deserved it as they also won possession with 70 percent and took six shots on target, two more than Los Canaleros.
Fun fact, Ben Youssef scored the 2500th goal in WC history.
Tunisia in Qatar 2022
Like the 2018 edition, Tunisia’s chances of making it out of Group D aren’t good. They must face France, Denmark, and Australia. Les Bleus are the reigning champions. Denmark was a pleasant surprise during the 2020 EURO and Australia will be playing its fifth WC in a row after eliminating Peru.
As expected, France dominates the soccer lines to finish atop the standings thanks to a -250 price. Les Bleus are followed by Denmark at +300 and Australia at +1000, leaving the Eagles of Carthage last at +1400. Since 1998, Tunisia’s best result has been 24th place, so that makes a lot of sense.
Individually, Khazri is offering a +20000 price to win the Golden Boot, while his teammate Youssef Msakni is +25000. Before you laugh, I wouldn’t blame you, let me tell you that some teams don’t even have one player on that list.
No, Tunisia isn’t going to win the title, but the Eagles of Carthage are more than capable of winning their second WC game.
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