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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Fierce Tunisia hold Denmark in Group D opener

Tunisia got off to an excellent start at the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw against Denmark in Al Rayyan, Qatar. Favorites to advance out of the group, Denmark were met by a determined Carthage Eagles team that was eager to be aggressive and backed by plenty of vocal support. The North African side will face Australia on Saturday in their next match while Denmark clash with Group D favorites France.

Three points were expected for the Danish team but the Red and Whites were pinned back early. A combative Tunisian midfield proved more than equal to their Danish counterparts and the opportunities began to arrive for the African team with Mohamed Dräger’s 11th minute long range effort taking a major deflection before going just wide. Tunisia forward Issam Jebali then got behind the defense and finished past Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 23rd minute but Jebali was ruled offsides.

Just before halftime Jebali was in again but Schmeichel got just enough of a hand on Jebali’s chipped shot to deflect the ball wide. Denmark improved their performance after halftime and appeared to have taken the lead in the 55th minute but Andreas Skov Olsen’s goal was disallowed due to an offsides call.

The Danes had their best opportunity to take the lead in the 70th minute. After playmaker Christian Eriksen was well denied on a shot by Tunisia keeper Aymen Dahmen, the ensuing corner kick was headed towards the far post by Andreas Christensen but substitute forward Andreas Cornelius could only head his finish off the post with Dahmen in a helpless position. Tunisia had another close call in second half stoppage time when the Video Assistant Referee called over referee César Arturo Ramos to review a handball in the penalty area by center back Yassine Meriah, but Ramos judged that the Tunisia defender did not commit an infraction.