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Tunisia pick up comeback win against Panama

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

picked up their first win of the World Cup in a dead rubber match against with a second half comeback to win 2-1 against a spirited side.

Panama XI: Penedo, Escobar, R. Torres, Machado, Ovalle, Gomez, Barenas, Avila, Godoy, J. Rodriguez, G. Torres.

Tunisia XI: Mathlouthi, Meriah, Haddadi, Bedoui, Naguez, Sassi, Skhiri, Ben Youssef . Khazri, Chaaleli, Sliti.

After opening the touranment as underdogs against Belgium and England, Tunisia reverted to a more familiar possession based approach to the game against Panama with nothing more than pride at stake.

Despite dominating the ball, Tunisia failed to create much in the way of clear chances and it was Panama who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when the Carthage Eagles cleared wave after wave of attack before teh ball fell to Rodriguez who struck from distance and a Meriah deflection took the ball past Mathlouti.

Nabil Maaloul must have had some encouraging words at half time because his side came out flying in the second half, and before long a well worked Tunisia move led to Wahbi Khazri drilling the ball low into the box for Fakhreddine Ben Youssef to tap in and equalise.

Tunisia built on the momentum as 15 minutes later Khazri turned from provider to scorer to tap in a goal in similar fashion to the first. Panama pushed on for a winner but it was in vain as Tunisia went on to win 2-1.

The win means that Tunisia have just their second ever World Cup win with the first being an emphatic 3-1 win over Mexico in 1978. Tunisia finish the group in third place behind Belgium and England who had both already qualified.

Match Reporter and Editor at Quantity surveyor from South East London. Support Leyton Orient and Inter at club level. Due to my mixed heritage I also support England, Egypt and Poland at national level. If it involves a stadium and a football then I'll watch it.

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