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Tunisia beats France but fails to reach last 16 in agonizing fashion

Tunisia secured a famous victory as they beat much-changed reigning World Cup champions France in their Group D finale but it wasn’t enough to reach the last 16.


Veteran playmaker Wahbi Khazri scored the winner for Tunisia in the second half as for two minutes they were in the last 16, but then Australia took the lead in the other Group D game as the Socceroos held on to take second spot ahead of Tunisia.

[ MORE: Group D standings, schedule, scores ]

France boss Didier Deschamps rested several key players including Mbappe, Griezmann, Rabiot and Dembele (who all had a big impact late on off the bench), while Giroud, Lloris and Upamecano didn’t feature at all.

The French thought they had equalized through Griezmann with 14 seconds of the eight minutes of stoppage time to go but VAR chalked the goal off for offside and Tunisia got the win.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Tunisia finished in third place on four points in Group D, while France finished top on six points as they were above second-place Australia on goal difference.

Will Deschamps be happy after France rest their stars?

Top spot in Group D was pretty much guaranteed and Didier Deschamps gave the majority of his key players most of this game off. Will he be happy with what he saw from the back ups? Probably not. We talk a lot about how deep this France squad is and in defense it is pretty decent. But in midfield and attack there was a big drop off and perhaps we learned from this game that Les Bleus cannot afford any more injuries after they lost several key players before the tournament had even kicked off. Camavinga aside, nobody really took their chance.

Stars of the show

Wahbi Khazri: Scored the winner and was superb as he rolled back the years in his central attacking role.

Eduardo Camavinga: He played out of position at left back and was exceptional. What can’t they Real Madrid youngster do!?

Screenshot 2022-11-30 at 17.23.36

How to watch Tunisia vs France live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET - Wednesday, November 30Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al RayyanTV channels en Español: TelemundoStreaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

Tunisia need to take more risks in attack and this is all or nothing for them now. They need to win and hope that Australia against Denmark ends in a draw as they have the upperhand over Australia when it comes to goal difference. If they win and Denmark win it will also go down to goal difference to see if they reach the last 16. Khazri starts this game to give them extra quality in attack.

France now have the luxury of resting some of their key players ahead of the last 16 but Deschamps will be keen to make it three wins from three in the group stage to keep momentum going. Camavinga, Mandanda, Guendouzi and Camavinga all start. France just need a point to guarantee top spot in the group but in reality their huge advantage in goal difference over Australia (6 goals better off) means they’ve already won the group.

Tunisia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 30
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified via CAF playoffs (Beat Mali)
Coach: Jalel Kadri
Key players: Ferjani Sassi, Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni

France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Karim Benzema

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