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Four-star Tunisia thump Zimbabwe to reach quarter-finals

Four-star Tunisia thump Zimbabwe to reach quarter-finals

23/01/2017 at 19:54Updated 23/01/2017 at 21:37

Stade de l'Amitie, Africa Cup of Nations Group B – Zimbabwe 2 (Musona 42, Ndoro 57) Tunisia 4 ( Sliti 9, Msekni 22, Khenissi 36, Khazri pen 45)

Tunisia have sealed their place in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations after thrashing Zimbabwe 4-2.

The Carthage Eagles, who needed a point to progress, stormed out of the blocks and grabbed an early lead through Naim Sliti before Youssef Msekni’s strike made it 2-0.

They continued to punish the Warriors’ defensive weaknesses and rash challenges from Costa Nhamoinesu with Taha Khenissi grabbing a third.

The impressive Knowledge Musona pulled a goal back for the Zimbabweans with a fine strike but Henryk Kasperczak’s side increased their lead a few minutes later through Sunderland’s Wahbi Khazri’s penalty to make it 4-2 at the break.

Tunisia's midfielder Naim Sliti (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Zimbabwe and Tunisia at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on January 23, 2017.

Tunisia's midfielder Naim Sliti (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Zimbabwe and Tunisia at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Libreville on January 23, 2017.AFP

Zimbabwe, playing in their first Cup of Nations since 2006, brought on Tendai Ndoro at half-time and the substitute made an instant impact by reducing their deficit.

But the Tunisians never looked like crumbling and coasted to victory to set up a last eight clash with Burkina Faso on Saturday.

TALKING POINT

Can Tunisia repeat their triumph from 2004? The north African side looked ordinary against Senegal but bounced back to record impressive wins over Algeria and the Zimbabweans. Going forward they showed their abundance of pace and power against the Warriors but a question mark remains over their defence after conceding two soft goals.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Taha Khenissi (Tunisia): The striker’s movement was too much for the Warriors to handle. He scored an impressive goal and was unlucky not to grab more after hitting the woodwork.

PLAYER RATINGS

ZIMBABWE: Mkuruva 5, Mushewki 5, Musona 7, Biliat 6, Phiri 4, Katsande 5, Nakamba 5, Nhamoinesu 3, Zvirekwi 5, Muroiwa 5, Bhasera 5. Subs: Ndoro 7, Mahachi 5.

TUNISIA: Jeridi 6, Naguez 6, Abdennour 6, Ben Youssef 6, Maaloul 6, Sassi 5, Ben Amor 6, Sliti 7, Khazri 6, Msekni 7, Khenissi 8. Subs: Lahmar 5, Khalifa 5, Azouzi 5.

KEY MOMENTS:

9’ - GOAL! Zimbabwe 0-1 Tunisia: The corner is blocked, it falls to Sliti whose low drive from distance takes two deflections and nestles in the back of the net.

22’ - GOAL! Zimbabwe 0-2 Tunisia: Wonderful move. Msekni trades passes with Sliti before rifling a low shot from inside the box through the keeper's legs.

25’ - DISALLOWED GOAL: Msekni's low shot is pushed by the keeper on to the post, it falls to Khazri who taps the ball in from a few yards out but it is chalked off for off-side.

Tunisia's forward Taha Yassine Khenissi is fouled by Zimbabwe's defender Costa Nhamoinesu (R) in the penalty area during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Zimbabwe and Tunisia at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in Librevil

Tunisia's forward Taha Yassine Khenissi is fouled by Zimbabwe's defender Costa Nhamoinesu (R) in the penalty area during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group A football match between Zimbabwe and Tunisia at the Stade de l'Amitie Sino-Gabonaise in LibrevilAFP

33’ - GOOD SAVE! Musona cuts inside from the right, he unleashes a fierce drive which is well kept out for a corner. The set piece from Billiat is a good one and Phiri heads the ball over.

36’ - GOAL! Zimbabwe 3-0 Tunisia: Naguez with a low ball into the box and Khenissi slides in at the near post to make it 3-0.

42’ - GOAL! Zimbabwe 1-3 Tunisia: Terrific control on his chest from Musona, he flicks the ball through two defenders before rifling the ball into the corner to pull a goal back.

45’ - GOAL! Zimbabwe 1-4 Tunisia: Khazri scores from the penalty spot, the keeper gets a hand to it but it goes under arm and that is 4-1.

57’ GOAL! Zimbabwe 2-4 Tunisia: Ndoro rolls the ball into the net after a first-time through ball from Musona.

65’ - GOOD SAVE! Khenissi is put through on goal, it is parried by the keeper and the striker's header from the rebound strikes the post!

KEY STAT

The Tunisians are the first team in the tournament to score four times.

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