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FIFA 2022 World Cup: Tunisia hold down Denmark to a barren draw

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Tunisia play out a goalless draw in their World Cup opener on Tuesday, kicking off their Group D campaign with a strong performance against Denmark

The game ended 0-0 with high hopes that the men from North Africa can crawl onto the next stage with confidence and maybe clitch a spot at the World Cup knockouts for the first time.

In their five previous attempts, Jalel Kadri’s side have not tested the opportunity and will be encouraged with a point at Education City Stadium and with how they performed against the fancied Danes.

Christian Eriksen was the name sang around the park after nearly dying on the pitch at the UEFA Euro Championship last year, wilting in the face of ferocious defending.

Into the game, Eriksen was the target of a big tackle in the second minute from Aissa Laidouni, who then lept to his feet and egged on the fans to make even more noise and setting the tone for hard battle.

With Denmark coming into the match as favorites, Tunisia tore into their more illustrious opponents from kick-off, flying into tackles with massed ranks of Tunisians in the stands created a crackling atmosphere and cheered every tackle and clearance.

11th minute into the game, the African side nearly took the lead after Mohamed Drager’s long-range effort clipping off Andreas Christensen and drifting just wide.

There after, the Danes got onto the front foot as Eriksen struggled to shake off the attentions of Tunisia’s well-organised backline, and although they got into dangerous positions any attacks were comfortably cut out.

Later one in the opening half, the Tunisians came closest to taking the lead through Anis Ben Slimane who was offside before slotting past Kasper Schmeichel, who then made sure the scores were level at the break with a wonderful save.

In the second half, Eriksen was denied what would have been a fine goal by Aymen Dahmen’s fingertip save in the 69th minute after a corner which was headed onto the post from close range by substitute Andreas Cornelius.

Tunisia maintained the intensity throughout but it was Denmark who had the two best chances of a tight second half.

After surviving a late penalty, the north Africans celebrated a precious and unexpected point with their passionate supporters who came in all the way from their homeland.

Jeremiah Mugalu

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