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Profiling the AFCON teams: Tunisia

Tunisia have participated in 8 consecutive AFCONs since 2004.

Tunisia will be featuring in their 19th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament and the 14th in a row since 1994. The Eagles of Carthage have won the AFCON on only one occasion in 2004.

In the 2019 edition, Tunisia is in Group E alongside Mali, Mauritania and Angola.

Tunisia did not enter into qualification for the first two AFCON tournaments in 1957 and 1959.

Their first attempt to qualification was for the 1962 edition, one that proved out to be successful. At the finals tournament, Tunisia finished third after losing to Ethiopia in the semifinals and defeating Uganda 3-0 in the third place playoff game.

For the 1963 edition, the Eagles of Carthage were eliminated at the group stage after finishing bottom of Group A behind Ghana and Ethiopia.

In 1965, Tunisia finished as the tournament’s runners ups. The topped Group A ahead of Senegal and Ethiopia before losing 2-3 after extra-time, to Ghana in the final.

After the finals’ disappointment in their first home tournament, Tunisia opted out of qualification for the 1968 edition.

They however returned in the next four editions but failed to qualify for any of them.

Their next appearance came in 1978 where they finished fourth but once again failed to qualify for the next edition in 1980.

The 1982 group stage humiliation was followed up by 5 disappointments as the Eagles of Carthage failed to qualify for the AFCON finals between 1984 and 1992.

In 1994, Tunisia returned to the finals but could not get past the group stages.

1996 would once again see them finish second after losing the final to the hosts South Africa. Tunisia finished second in Group D behind Ghana and went on to defeat Gabon on penalties in the quarters. In the semis, they defeated Zambia 4-2 and then lost 2-0 to South Africa in the finals.

For the 1998 edition in Burkina Faso, Tunisia were eliminated at the quarter finals before finishing fourth in 2000.

2002 was another disappointment as the Eagles of Carthage were eliminated at the group stage.

However, 2004 would be their year as they sealed their first and only AFCON triumph to date. Tunisia topped group A and went on to defeat Senegal 1-0 in the quarters before eliminating Nigeria on penalties in the semis.

In the final, Tunisia defeated Morocco 2-1 to win their home tournament.

Tunisia’s only AFCON title came in 2004.

For 2006 and 2008, Tunisia progressed past the Group stages but lost their respective quarter final matches.

2010 was also a disappointment as Tunisia failed to negotiate their way past Group D in which they drew all their three games to eventually finish bottom.

In 2012, Tunisia progressed out of their group but lost 1-2 to Ghana after extra-time to exit the tournament at the quarter final stage. This was followed up with another group stage elimination in the 2013 edition in South Africa.

For the 2015 and 2017 editions, the Eagles of Carthage were eliminated at the quarter final on both occasions.

Coach

Alain Giresse

Giresse is a retired French midfielder who has been the head coach of Tunisia since 2018. 

Giresse has been in charge of Tunisia since 2018.

He played for France in the 1982 FIFA World Cup and that of 1986. He was a member of the Euro 84 winning team, and alongside Michel Platini, Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana, forming the team’s legendary “Carré Magique” (Magic Square) in midfield.

Giresse has been in charge of Toulouse and the Georgia, among others. Giresse worked as the head coach of Gabon, and was named a few months after the 2010 AFCON the coach of Mali. He was the coach of Senegal from 2013 to January 2015.

On 7 September 2017, Giresse resigned as manager of Mali.

Since 13 December 2018, Giresse is the manager of Tunisia.

Star Player

Wahbi Khazri

Khazri is a fowrad who plays for French Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne.

He began his career at Bastia, scoring 34 goals in 183 competitive games, winning the Championnat National and Ligue 2 in consecutive seasons.

After 18 months at Bordeaux, he transferred to Sunderland in January 2016, who loaned him to Rennes in 2017–18.

Khazri has scored over 75 goals for his five clubs and 15 in 43 appearances for Tunisia.

Khazri has scored 15 goals in 43 games for Tunisia

Projection: Quarter finals

Tunisia’s fixtures at AFCON 2019

-Tunisia vs Angola, 24nd June
-Tunisia vs Mali, 28th June
-Mauritania vs Tunisia, 02th July

Tunisia 23 man squad for AFCON 2019

Goalkeepers: Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab), Mouez Hassen (OGC Nice), Mouez Ben Chrifia (ES Tunis)

Defenders: Mohamed Drager (SC Paderborn), Rami Bedoui (Al Feiha), Yassine Meriah (Olympiakos), Dylan Bronn (The Gantoise), Oussama Haddadi (Ettifaq), Karim Aouadi (ES Sahel), Nassim Hnid (CS Sfaxien), Wajdi Kechrida (ES Sahel), Ayman Ben Mohamed (ES Tunis)

Midfielders: Ellyes Skhiri (HSC Montpellier), Ferjani Sassi (Zamalek SC), Naïm Sliti (Dijon), Bassem Srarfi (OGC Nice), Ghaylen Chaalali (ES Tunis), Mark Lamti (Bayer Leverkusen), Youssef Msakni (KAS Eupen)

Forwards: Wahbi Khazri (Saint-Etienne), Anice Badri (ES Tunis), Firas Chaouat (CS Sfaxien), Yassine Khenissi (ES Tunis).

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