AFCON 2017: Senegal victorious over helpless Tunisia

AFCON 2017: Senegal victorious over helpless Tunisia
Despite strong attempts to rescue an early 2-0 Senegal lead, Tunisia failed to perform in front of goal and ended their AFCON campaign opener in disappointing defeat.
3 min read
16 Jan, 2017
Tunisia suffered a 2-0 defeat in their first AFCON match [Getty]
On the second day of the Africa Cup of Nations, Tunisia met Senegal for their opening match of the tournament in Gabon.

The excitement was high, but the Tunisians couldn't have asked for a worse opener.

Your guide to the Arab nations taking part in Afcon 2017

The Eagles of Carthage opened the match on strong from.
Akaichi and Khazri both tried their luck from inside the box, but it was only simple test for the Senegalese keeper, Diallo.

In the 8th minute Abddenour fouled the Senegalese striker Sadio Mané inside the box who translated the penalty to a one goal lead. Akaichi missed another good chance right after, but Ittihad Jeddah's wasn't in full focus in front of Diallo.

On the 30th minute Senegal took advantage of the weak defense line of the Tunisian team and scored a second goal via a great header from Mbodji. 

Senegal celebrate Mbodji's bullet header [Getty]

2-0 to the Lions of Terenga was the result after half an hour. Mskani and Tunisia tried desperately to score but the North African team looked helpless and tired against the fit west Africans, and went down to the dressing room two goals down.

In the second half, Tunisia looked much more determined, and had a few promising chances to score. 

The game took a thrilling turn and the chances for both sides kept on coming. 

Tunisia woke up and Kaserpeczak was satisfied with his players' efforts. 

Tunisia upped their attack in the second half [Getty]

Tunisia was pushing Senegal hard in the second half. Mbodji almost scored an own goal, Mskani had another "must score" chance from a close range. 

Tunisia tried and tried, with Ma'aloul, Khazri and substitute Khneisi, but they couldn't stay focused in the last move in front of goal. 

In the 89th minute Mskani scored, but the goal was cancelled by the official due to an offside. 

Tunisia lost 2-0, and has nobody to blame but themselves. They had the chances in the second half, but they couldn't up their game. This loss concluded a disappointing day for the Arab North African teams, with Algeria earning a shock draw with Zimbabwe.

Tunisia: A. Mathlouthi; A. Abdennour (yellow card 9'); S. Ben Youssef; A. Maâloul; H. Nagguez; N. Sliti; F. Sassi; L. Azouni (sub – Khazri 46’); H. Lahmar; Y. Msakni; A. Akaïchi (sub –Khnesi 64’); Coach: H. Kasperczak

Senegal: A. Diallo; L. Gassama; K. Mbodji (goal 30’); K. Koulibaly (yellow card 41'); C. M'Bengue (yellow card 36'); C. Kouyaté (su  - Diop 88’); I. Gueye; Papa Alioune N'Diaye (sub –Saivet 72’); M. Diouf; S. Mané (goal 10'); B. Keita (sub - Sarr 62’); Coach: A. Cissé

Uri Levy runs the popular football blog BabaGol, which covers football and politics focusing on the Middle East. Follow him on Twitter, and read his blog here