FT World Cup 2018: Tunisia suffer heartbreaking loss against England
Fouls in soccer are inherently bad and referees are there to deal with them diligently, but for Tunisia, a careless foul from England help produced their first and only goal. Kyle Walker decided to stretch his elbow on Fakhreddine Ben Youssef which knocked him to the ground and the referee took notice of it. When the referee granted the penalty to Tunisia, Ferjani Sassi took it on behalf of the team and the ball hit the net just where it needed to.
Tunisia’s performance was more impressive in the second half as they strengthened their defensive line. They shifted to the 5-3-1-1 strategy, which tightened the bolts for them. England then struggled to get the ball past this compressed line of defense. Despite the pressure that Tunisia were able to create in the second half of the game, one goal was all they could get. This strategy was more or less employed throughout the game, however, the outcome was affected by two set-piece plays for England.
The captain of the English team, Harry Kane, lived up to the moment scoring both goals for England, including the winner late on. He was in the right place at the right time to finish the ball off in the 11th minute after a save from the goalkeeper from the ensuing corner kick. Then, in the 91st minute, another corner kick and another example of excellent placement from Harry Kane that was complemented by his header, which came at just the right time to afford the victory to England.
Tunisia will look to rebound against Belgium on Saturday, the 23rd of June with possibly a new strategy and with hopes of repairing their damaged pride. While we wait for them to revitalize, and pump in new levels of energy, all African eyes will be on Senegal as it takes on Poland. This will be another chance to demonstrate what Africa has to offer at the World Cup.