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FIFA U-20 World Cup: Tunisia earn first points with victory over Iraq

Tunisia earned their first points at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup as well as their first victory at the competition since 1977 with a 3-0 victory over Iraq on Thursday. Youssef Snana, Chaïm El Djebali and Mahmoud Ghorbel all scored for the Carthage Eaglets to move themselves into third place in Group E. Tunisia finish up the group stage against Uruguay on Sunday where a victory guarantees passage to the knockout rounds, a stage the country has never reached in their history at the competition.

Following defeat in the opening matches for both teams, a victory was needed and it appeared Iraq were the team with more urgency in the first half. Opportunities were limited for the Tunisian team and goalkeeper Edries Arfaoui had to remain vigilant at his near post to push away a shot from Iraq forward Abdulqader Ayoub close to halftime.

After keeping the match scoreless by halftime, Tunisia snatched the lead against the run of play in the 55th minute when Espérance ST right back Raed Bouchniba got to the end line and his low cross was cleverly finished by Snana. Less than two minutes later the Tunisians added to the Iraq team’s disappointment when Mohamed Derbali got free on the right and crossed for El Djebali’s accurate finish inside the far post. Despite a 74th minute red card to Rayan Nasraoui for kicking out at an Iraqi player, Tunisia completed their victory late on when Ghorbel finished from the spot after being taken down in the penalty area.

Highlights from the match are below.

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