PANAMA 1- 2 TUNISIA: 3 Major Talking Points As Kaziri Grabs Tunisia’s First Win Featured
29 Jun

PANAMA 1- 2 TUNISIA: 3 Major Talking Points As Kaziri Grabs Tunisia’s First Win

Thanks to Wahbi Kaziri’s winner, Tunisia ended its World Cup campaign with a 2-1 win against Panama on Thursday; it was a consolation victory, after the North African side had already been eliminated from the tournament, but a victory nonetheless.
 
As for the Los Canaleros, who were taking part in their first ever World Cup, the result was their third straight loss in the group.
 
Below are three talking points from the clash.
 
Tunisia had to win at all cost
 
In a competition that had all African representatives failing to advance from the group stage, Africa needed to leave on a high and Tunisia just did that. 
 
The Carthage Eagles were the third ranked team in the group behind Belgium and England. They lost their first two games to the aforementioned European sides and couldn’t have afforded to lose to the Central Americans. 
 
Even after going down to Panama, Tunisia fought to their way to victory with a 2-1 scoreline. It may have been a disappointing campaign for Nabil Maaloul’s charges but it was a good thing they at least managed to win a game as they exited the competition.
 
Wahbi Kaziri showed his class
 
It didn’t take long for both sides to settle into their rhythm; Tunisia dominated the ball in the opening exchanges, playing with confidence in midfield, but they struggled to break through and ask questions of a Panama side more than happy to sit tight and play on the counter-attack.
 
Sliti and Ben Youseff were involved early on without ever really threatening, just as had been the case in their previous two games, and it didn’t take long for their lack of potency to be punished when Panama grabbed the first goal as a Jose Luis Rodriguez shot was deflected into Tunisia’s goal by Yassine Meriah. 
 
Ben Youssef equalized in the second half and Kaziri got the all important victory for the North Africans.
 
A lot of positives for Panama to build on
 
It is just their first ever World Cup appearance and they found themselves in a very difficult group. They lost all three games but they will certainly go back home not as villains but as heroes as they never felted intimated by their highly talented and superior opponents. 
 
The experience garnered in Russia will surely be a blueprint of many good things to happen to Panama football. They played with so much confidence- something that belies their experience at the highest stage. 
 
Don’t be surprised to see them celebrating their first World Cup victory in the next edition.
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