The curse of the 3rd game has struck again! Already authors of a tasteless draw in Russia at the end of the group stage, Deschamps’ players would surely have been satisfied with the same result in Qatar, even if the defeat did not prevent them from retaining the lead in group D.
But the referee wanted otherwise by invalidating at the end of additional time the goal of the equalizer scored by Griezmann, finally offside. The responsibility for this defeat, which abruptly stops a series of six victories in a row in the World Cup, is largely due to the arbitrations operated by the coach.
The latter had indeed chosen to only renew at the kick-off Varane and Tchouaméni to rest the other holders. But with nine inexperienced players, France lacked automatism and balance too much to hope for better. Asphyxiated by an opponent evolving in an enclosure won over to his cause, the defending champion proved unable to compete in the game with the Eagles of Carthage.
On the contrary, they perfectly knew how to exploit the presence of Disasi and Camavinga, who are not full-backs by profession, to insist in the corridors and cause cold sweats at each breakthrough.
In the middle, the aligned quartet (Guendouzi, Veretout, Tchouaméni, Fofana) was never able to win, which would have made it possible to relieve a defense in which Konaté floated, and would have less isolated the experimental offensive doublet constituted by Coman and Kolo Muani.
Against all odds, well launched by Fofana, the Bayern winger nevertheless inherited the first real opportunity but struck wide. But after a loss of ball from the same Fofana, it is logically Khazri, already double scorer in Russia, who concretized the Tunisian domination (58) against the very naive Blues and lacking in aggressiveness.
If the Tunisians at the same time score their first goal in the competition just before leaving it, it is however the 3rd already conceded by the French. The entries of Griezmann, Mbappé and Rabiot nevertheless made it possible to rebalance the debates but, faced with the Tunisian solidity, this proved insufficient to return to the score before this incredible final.
Tunisia’s winning tactic
This prestigious victory, on the other hand, perfectly rewards the choices of Jalel Kadri who, in addition to his Montpellier striker, had launched a new offensive line and his pistons Maaloul and Kechrida into the deep end to stretch the game and try to snatch qualification with four points. .
What he had probably not foreseen, however, was the outcome of the other group match, won (1-0) by Australia against Denmark and which, combined with the defeat of the Tunisians against the Socceroos (1-0), narrowly prevents the Tunisians from qualifying for the first round of 16 in their history. Enough to feed the frustration of both teams at the final whistle.