It was a struggle for both teams on the attacking end but a draw was all Tunisia needed and the Carthage Eagles’ 0-0 result in Tunis against Mali carried the North African nation through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 aggregate score. Mali came up just short of their first ever World Cup appearance due to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at home while Tunisia advance to their fifth appearance.
The hosts had earned their lead through staying tactically secure and taking advantage of Mali’s defensive errors and the trend of a cautious approach remained in Tunis. Home supporters hoped for a convincing performance from their side to show why they deserved a spot in Qatar but Tunisia failed to generate a single shot on the Malian goal. The visitors did not fare much better in a dry first half but showed the necessary ambition, lacking execution in the final third.
Tunisia picked it up somewhat after the halftime break but it was more of the same from both teams. The best opportunities came early in the second half with Tunisian striker Seifeddine Jaziri having a look from a tight angle in the 48th minute, but the Zamalek player sent his effort into the side netting without much threat to Mali goalkeeper Ibrahim Mounkoro.
Mali had their best look a few minutes after Jaziri’s miss in the 51st minute. Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma drove inside from the left and sent a well struck effort that skipped just wide of Tunisia goalkeeper Bechir Ben Saïd’s goal. The home supporters had little to enjoy from the action but were nonetheless delighted to see their team hold out without too much threat from the Malian attack.
Click the link below for highlights from Tunis.