World Cup - Group G
Panama1Tunisia2

World Cup 2018: Wahbi Khazri scores as Tunisia end with 2-1 win over Panama

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Highlights: Panama 1-2 Tunisia

A second-half strike from Sunderland's Wahbi Khazri ensured Tunisia ended their World Cup Group G campaign with a victory, as Panama finished bottom.

The north African side, who had 14 chances, fell a goal behind when Jose Luis Rodriguez's effort deflected in off Yassine Meriah.

Fakhreddine Ben Youssef equalised when he tapped home Khazri's low ball.

The provider of that goal then scored his second of the tournament when he fired home Oussama Haddadi's cross.

Khazri leads way for Tunisia

In the build-up to this match, Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul had said his team were "two generations" from reaching the level needed be competitive against the best sides in world football.

Aside from the 5-2 defeat by Belgium, that assessment is perhaps a little harsh as his side almost earned a point against England before this deserved victory.

They often overwhelmed their opponents in attack inside Mordovia Arena, with Khazri the heartbeat of their attack.

His pinpoint cross for Ben Youssef helped Tunisia draw level, before he settled the contest with a close-range finish - the 2,500th goal in World Cup tournament history.

Khazri was denied a second goal, his third of the tournament, by an exceptional one-handed stop by keeper Jaime Penedo.

The 27-year-old might be a man in demand after his displays in Russia - Sunderland say they have already rejected offers, and may now have to consider more.

Yassine Meriah

Panama finish with heads held high

When Panama scored their first goal at a World Cup, in the 6-1 defeat by England, there were tears of joy in the central American country.

Having lost the lead against Tunisia, perhaps there will be a feeling of disappointment this time.

But luck was on their side for their goal. Tunisia's Aymen Mathlouthi appeared to be in the right position to collect a shot from Rodriguez, however the ball took a slight deflection which fooled the keeper.

That was one of the few times they troubled Tunisia's third-choice keeper. Edgar Barcenas went close twice, but his first effort was blocked by Mathlouthi and the second was disallowed for an earlier foul.

Panama finish with zero points from their first World Cup campaign, but their legion of travelling fans will no doubt be satisfied they managed to see their team in football's biggest tournament.

Man of the match - Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)

Wahbi Khazri
There was no competition for the award - one goal, one assist, five shots with three on target

'We had three difficult teams' - the reaction

Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul:

"Today's match was a well-deserved victory for the Tunisian side.

"When we landed in this group we knew very well that our best hope would be to come third in this group.

"It is true that we conceded many goals, but we conceded goals when we were met with very tough opponents."

Panama coach Hernan Gomez:

"This is the nature of the World Cup. There are highs and lows. You never want to leave.

"We had two, actually three, very difficult teams with a lot of experience at this level. Hopefully Panama will return to a World Cup and not be the worst."

Tunisia break losing run - the stats

  • Tunisia's victory over Panama means they have won just their second World Cup game and their first since beating Mexico in 1978 (3-1) in what was their debut in the competition.
  • Tunisia ended a 13-game winless run at World Cup finals (D4 L9).
  • Both of Tunisia's World Cup victories have come in games in which they were trailing at half-time.
  • Panama's defeat means they have become the first nation since Serbia and Togo in 2006 to lose each of their first three World Cup games.
  • Tunisia have now conceded in each of their past 12 World Cup games, keeping their last and only clean sheet in the competition back in 1978 against Germany (0-0).
  • Panama's goal means this is the first World Cup tournament in which every side has scored at least two goals in the competition.
  • Meriah's own goal was the 50th in World Cup history.

Line-ups

Panama

  • 1Penedo
  • 13Machado
  • 5R TorresSubstituted forTejadaat 56'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 4Escobar
  • 17Ovalle
  • 6GómezBooked at 80mins
  • 21JL Rodriguez
  • 20Godoy
  • 19AvilaBooked at 78minsSubstituted forArroyoat 81'minutes
  • 8Bárcenas
  • 9G TorresSubstituted forCummingsat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Cummings
  • 7Pérez
  • 12Calderón
  • 14Pimentel
  • 15Davis
  • 16Arroyo
  • 18Tejada
  • 22A Rodríguez
  • 23Baloy

Tunisia

  • 16Mathlouthi
  • 21Nagguez
  • 6Bedoui
  • 4Meriah
  • 5Haddadi
  • 17Skhiri
  • 8F Ben Youssef
  • 20ChaalaliBooked at 90mins
  • 13SassiBooked at 44minsSubstituted forBadriat 45'minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 23SlitiSubstituted forKhalilat 77'minutes
  • 10KhazriSubstituted forSrarfiat 89'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Benalouane
  • 7Khaoui
  • 9Badri
  • 12Maâloul
  • 14Ben Amor
  • 15Khalil
  • 18Srarfi
  • 19Khalifa
Referee:
Nawaf Shukralla
Attendance:
37,168

Match Stats

Home TeamPanamaAway TeamTunisia
Possession
Home31%
Away69%
Shots
Home9
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home0
Away6
Fouls
Home18
Away19

Live Text

Match ends, Panama 1, Tunisia 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Panama 1, Tunisia 2.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia) because of an injury.

Booking

Luis Tejada (Panama) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luis Tejada (Panama).

Attempt saved. Edgar Bárcenas (Panama) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Hand ball by Ahmed Khalil (Tunisia).

Attempt missed. Aníbal Godoy (Panama) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Abdiel Arroyo with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

Booking

Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia).

Aníbal Godoy (Panama) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anice Badri (Tunisia).

Luis Ovalle (Panama) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Bassem Srarfi (Tunisia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gabriel Gómez (Panama).

Offside, Panama. Luis Ovalle tries a through ball, but Abdiel Arroyo is caught offside.

Foul by Ahmed Khalil (Tunisia).

Aníbal Godoy (Panama) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Tunisia. Bassem Srarfi replaces Wahbi Khazri.

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Gabriel Gómez (Panama).

Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Luis Tejada (Panama).

Foul by Hamdi Nagguez (Tunisia).

Jose Luis Rodriguez (Panama) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Panama. Abdiel Arroyo replaces Ricardo Avila.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia) because of an injury.

Booking

Gabriel Gómez (Panama) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gabriel Gómez (Panama).

Booking

Ricardo Avila (Panama) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Fakhreddine Ben Youssef (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ricardo Avila (Panama).

Substitution

Substitution, Tunisia. Ahmed Khalil replaces Naim Sliti.

Foul by Ghilane Chaalali (Tunisia).

Jose Luis Rodriguez (Panama) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Yassine Meriah (Tunisia).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Uruguay33005059
2Russia32018446
3Saudi Arabia310227-53
4Egypt300326-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain31206515
2Portugal31205415
3Iran31112204
4Morocco301224-21

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France32103127
2Denmark31202115
3Peru31022203
4Australia301225-31

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia33007169
2Argentina311135-24
3Nigeria310234-13
4Iceland301225-31

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Brazil32105147
2Switzerland31205415
3Serbia310224-23
4Costa Rica301225-31

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden32015236
2Mexico320134-16
3South Korea31023303
4Germany310224-23

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium33009279
2England32018356
3Tunisia310258-33
4Panama3003211-90

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Colombia32015236
2Japan31114404
3Senegal31114404
4Poland310225-33
View full World Cup tables

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