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Tunisia celebrate first World Cup win for 40 years

Tunisia celebrate first World Cup win for 40 years

The striker's hard, rising shot in the 66th minute lifted Tunisia to a 2-1 triumph over Panama on Thursday night.

Tunisia had the better chances as the game headed towards half-time, with Ben Youssef heading wide of the post before Khazri fired well over the crossbar.

But it was tough for Panama, making their first appearance in a World Cup finals, and for their fans in the Monrovia Arena who for a while could dream of a historic win.

Playing out the dead rubber in Saransk, it was a slick passing move that concluded with Khazri, the Sunderland forward, sliding a flawless pass across the face of goal for Ben Youssef to lift into the net from close range. It was probably an easy choice for Maâloul to make: at 6 feet and four inches Ben Youssef is the tallest player at his disposal, although he has never before played between the sticks for club or country. "Our performance against England was very good.we should have been more defensive against Belgium", Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul said. We wanted to snatch this victory, and I wanted to score, and I did. "This is great day for Tunisia".

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

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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.

Tunisia continued to surge forward in numbers and Panama had captain Roman Torres to thank when he booted clear Khazri's second effort after his initial attempt was blocked by goalkeeper Jaime Penedo. We are the youngest team with most difficulties.

He said: "We are last, yes. but the worst team?"

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. Tunisia dominated the match with 64-per cent possession and finished with 15 shots to Panama's nine.

Tunisia wrapped up their Group G encounter at the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation with a 2-1 win over debutants Panama at the Mordovia Arena on Thursday, June 28.