Warriors 2-4 Tunisia
Four goals through Naim Sliti, Youssef Msakni, Yasssine Khenissi and a penalty from Wahbi Khazri handed Tunisia a 4-2 win over Zimbabwe in their 2017 Caf Africa Cup of Nations Group B final match at Stade de l’Amitie yesterday night.
The victory puts the Carthage Eagles at number two on the log table with six points and they will now join Senegal in the last eight.
On the other hand, a goal in each half from Knowledge Musona and Tendai Ndoro was not enough to see Zimbabwe bagging their first win in the showpiece.
Tunisia showed a bright start, but it was the Warriors who came close to finding the back of the net when Nyasha Mushekwi failed to connect with a brilliant pass from Musona’s cross in the fifth minute.
Five minutes later, Zimbabwe conceded a corner and Tunisia played it short to Sliti, who unleashed a shot which deflected off a defender to beat goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva.
Henryk Kasperczak’s men doubled their lead in the 22nd minute through Msakni, who finished easily in the box when they exchanged good passes in the penalty area.
Just after the half-hour mark, the Warriors showed their spirit and Musona tried a brilliant left-footed curler, but it was parried away from danger by keeper Rami Jeridi.
However, in the 36th minute, Khenissi received a cross from Hamdi Naguez on the right flank and he was clever to tip-toe the ball into Mukuruva’s net, making it 3-0.
Three minutes before the interval, Musona pulled one back for the Southern Africans when he beat two men in the box, before unleashing a powerful shot.
Tunisia were not done yet as defender Costa Nhamoinesu committed a foul in the box and the referee pointed to the spot with one minute to half time.
Khazri rose to convert the penalty, handing the North Africans a 4-1 lead at the interval.
With three minutes into the second stanza, Musona took a great initiative with a long drive on the right edge of the box, but he saw his effort narrowly missing the far corner.
However, in the 58th minute, Khama Billit showed bravery when he made a brilliant run from the centre to lay the ball for Ndoro in the box, who easily finished for 4-2.
The final 10 minutes saw Mukuruva producing a lovely save to deny Sliti from close range, resulting from beautiful play on the left.
Despite an end-to-end display by both sides, there were no clear chances in the final minutes and Tunisia booked a spot in the quarter-finals.
In the wake of the defeat, Zimbabwe remain at the bottom of the group with one point from one draw and two losses, and will head home as they exit the tournament.
Zimbabwe: Mukuruva, Nhamoinesu, Phiri (Ndoro 46′), Zvirekwi, Muroiwa, Bhasera, Mushekwi, Katsande, Musona (Mahachi 88′), Nakamba, Billiat.
Tunisia: Jeridi, Ben Youssef, Abdennour, Msakni (Khalifa 78′), Khazri (Lahmar 63′), Khenissi, Maaloul, Sassi, Ben Amor, Naguez, Slitit (Azouni 84′). — Supersport.
Article Source: The Chronicle