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Preview: Tunisia vs. Mauritania

Tunisia will look to bounce back from a controversy-filled loss to Mali with a win against Mauritania on Sunday in Group F play at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The North African team and its supporters are still fuming over the performance of referee Janny Sikazwe and his early full time whistle, but Tunisia’s performance in the match was highly scrutinized as well. Mauritania fell to defeat in their opening match as well against Gambia, and a defeat to the Carthage Eagles will likely eliminate Al-Murabitun.

The focus from Tunisian media is more on the failure of the Carthage Eagles to perform like they did during their run to the final of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. La Presse highlighted the lackluster performances of wing backs Ali Maâloul and Hamza Mathlouthi, a problem that cannot be remedied because Covid-19 absences have left manager Mondher Kebaier with little choice. Nottingham Forest right wing back Mohamed Dräger is an example of a key player who will be missing along with center back Dylan Bronn and attacker Naïm Sliti. Coach Kebaier dismissed using any excuses and stated that his team’s focus is full on Mauritania instead of the perceived injustice of last match and Covid-19 absences.

Mauritania have faced the Carthage Eagles many times, and have yet to obtain a win but will have a recent 0-0 home draw in FIFA World Cup qualifying to refer to. That result would keep the West African nation in contention for the knockout stages, which is the goal of the team after failing to make it out of the group stage on their AFCON debut in 2019. Manager Didier Gomes da Rosa, appointed ahead of the team’s FIFA Arab Cup campaign in December, mentioned the past draw as a reason to be optimistic and that he feels a good chemistry within his squad ahead of Sunday’s match. If Mauritania are unable to keep Tunisia off the scoreboard, it will be tough work getting a result for a team that has only scored five goals in their last ten games.

Check out the links below for more information on the Group F showdown.

Tunisia v Mauritania – The last chance (CAF Online)
Match Facts – Tunisia v Mauritania (CAF Online)

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