Sports News of Tuesday, 18 June 2019
No team has impressed more in the pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendlies than Tunisia, who made it three wins out of three with a 2-1 victory over Burundi on Monday evening.
The triumph — against a Hirondelles team that has also caught the eye during the pre-tournament matches — came after victories over Iraq and Croatia.
As had been the case against the World Cup finalists, Tunisia had taken the lead only to be pegged back, with a delicious 76th-minute effort from Cedric Amissi — after fine interplay on the edge of the Tunisian box — cancelling out Yassine Taha Khenissi’s opener 10 minutes earlier.
However, in a repeat of the Croatia scenario, Tunisia rallied, with Naim Sliti netting a 93rd-minute winner after snatching back possession on the edge of the Burundian box, slaloming inside a challenge and hooking a left-footed shot into the far corner.
Coach Nabil Maaloul will bring Anice Badri, Wahbi Khazri and Dylan Bronn into his starting line-up for the Carthage Eagles’ Nations Cup opener against Angola on Monday, although experienced duo Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Ali Maaloul have been dropped from the squad.
While Burundi was unable to deny Tunisia victory as they had against Algeria in their previous international friendly, they can take encouragement from two rugged — and occasionally inventive — displays against two tournament favourites.