Tunisia earn their first World Cup win in 40 years

By Agency Published on Jun 29, 2018 10:14 AM IST

Tunisia will fly home with their first win at the FIFA World Cup in 40 years after beating Panama 2-1 at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk.

Fakhreddine Ben Youssef made World Cup history during the finale of Russia 2018’s Group G action as his second-half equaliser marked the 2,500th goal in tournament history.

The Carthage Eagles controlled the tempo of the game in the first half and created a few early chances, but Panama took the lead against the run of play from an own goal.

Jose Luis Rodriguez’s strike from distance took a deflection off of Tunisia defender Yassine Meriah, which sent goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi the wrong way. Tunisia came out firing in the second half, though, and it was not long before Ben Youssef’s milestone strike levelled the score.

Eleven minutes later, Tunisia No10 Wahbi Khazri put the North African side in front, slotting past Jaime Penedo from close range.

The win marked Tunisia’s first victory at the World Cup since Argentina 1978, while Los Canaleros are forced to head home without a point to pack up from their maiden appearance at the competition.

Already eliminated from Russia 2018 prior to the start of today’s fixtures, Tunisia’s win secured third place in Group G as the Central Americans finished bottom.