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Africa Cup: Namibia wins over Tunisia

Africa Cup: Namibia wins over Tunisia

Tunisia suffered a surprise defeat against Namibia at the start of the Africa Cup of Nations. Elias Sakhiri's team presented a disappointing performance, especially in the first half.

Namibian Dion Hotto scored today's goal against Tunisia.
AFP via Getty Images

Tunisia, clear favorites in Group E, started the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations with a defeat. On the first day of the match, the North African team, led by Frankfurt player Skhiri, who led the midfield from the beginning and supported Union player Ledoni from the break, was forced to admit defeat to Namibia, which qualified for the continental championship for only the fourth time.

Tunisia does not wake up until after the break

Although the first opportunity in the match went to the Tunisians, as goalkeeper Casabua blocked a header from Khenissi (fourth), the winner of the 2004 tournament faced serious problems against the outside team. Namibia put the 'Eagles' under pressure with a high press, were very stable in the last row and had some great chances: goalkeeper Ben Said made two saves from Shalalil, and Kishereda headed Chitembe's follow-up shot off the line (eighth). Later, Hutto failed to pass a pass to Imboundi inside the penalty area, and the winger only had to advance into the net (22).

Tunisia came out of the locker room better, as Casabua shot a quick header from Msakni over the crossbar (46), and Al-Jouini put the ball into the goal twice (55, 58). But Namibia also remained dangerous, especially through captain Shalulile, who did not shoot the ball correctly in the 50th minute, so Talbi was able to clear the ball off the goal line.

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As the match progressed, Tunisia became stronger and stronger, but the opportunities remained untapped. Casabua blocked Ashouri's goalkeeper in the 71st minute, then shot a header from Msakni brilliantly over the crossbar (80).

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Huto with the goal of the day – the double package does not count

During the North African team's pressing phase, Namibia scored the goal of the day: Hutto was completely free after a perfect pass to the second post and headed past Ben Said to make it 1-0 (88'). Shortly afterwards, the ball was in the Tunisians' goal for the second time after Hutto completed a counterattack. But the attacker made a move too early and was offside.

The victory therefore remained narrow, and Namibia celebrated it enthusiastically, while Tunisia's starting position in Group E had actually deteriorated slightly. The second round will be next weekend. Tunisia will face Mali on Saturday (9 pm), and a day later (9 pm) Namibia will face its neighbor, South Africa.