Tunisia ends World Cup quest with win against Panama


Fakhreddine Ben Youssef turned in Khazri's ideal cross in the 51st minute to cancel out a first-half own goal by defender Yassine Meriah.

The Colombian was quick to dismiss one journalist's claim that Panama were the worst team at Russian Federation 2018, pointing out how the country's infrastructure compares to many of their FIFA World Cup rivals.

Wahbi Khazri celebrates after scoring Tunisia's second goal against Panama.

Subs used: Badri (6), Khalil (5), Srarfi (n/a). The Sunderland forward had two efforts in quick succession in the first minute of two added on, but both were blocked by Roman Torres.

In the first half, Tunisia took their time too much in imposing themselves upon the game and were punished by going behind. Sunderland man Khazri worked a good crossing position before delivering a ideal ball into the stride of the onrushing Ben Yousef who had a simple task in powering the ball past the 'keeper.

Ben Youssef, though, will at least have a landmark goal to remember and here - courtesy of Opta - is the company he joins.

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And the comeback was complete in the 66th minute when Khazri grabbed his second goal of the World Cup after being picked out at the back post by full-back Oussama Haadadi.

While both teams have already advanced to the round of 16, the victor of Thursday's game will have an easier route in the knockout stage.

Less than ten minutes later, Panama looked to have salvaged a point when Barcenas powered home a drive from outside the box and it was only as the player wheeled away in celebration that he realized that the match official had pulled the game back for a foul in the build-up.

Anibal Godoy challenge for the ball with Ahmed Khalil during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Panama and Tunisia at Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia.

The victory is just Tunisia's second from five trips to the finals and first since they beat Mexico 3-1 in 1978.

But they trailed 1-0 at halftime against the run of play after a shot by Panama's Jose Luis Rodriguez took a deflection off Tunisian defender Yassine Meriah in the 33rd minute for an own goal. He has shown what he can do at this World Cup, and now needs to translate this form into his club career.