Tunisia stunned World Cup holders France, but Wahbi Khazri’s strike ultimately wasn't enough, as the African nation bowed out of the tournament.
France, who made nine changes to their starting 11, believed a goal from substitute Antoine Griezmann in the final minute of stoppage time had rescued a point only for VAR to overrule for offside.
That meant Khazri’s 58th-minute finish sealed a bittersweet win for Tunisia after Australia had claimed their own upset victory over Denmark to advance to the knockout stages, along with Group D winners France.
Tunisia have never progressed past the group stages, but Khazri had his fans dreaming after he beat two defenders en route to slotting the ball past France keeper Steve Mandanda.
Despite France’s push to find an equalizer, with coach Didier Deschamps introducing Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembélé and Griezmann off the bench, it was Australia who dashed Tunisia’s World Cup hopes.
Expected goals (xG): Tunisia 0.47, France 0.44
Man of the Match: Eduardo Camavinga, France
Camavinga ably deputized as a makeshift left-back for France in lieu of the injury sustained by Lucas Hernandez against Australia. The 20-year-old won 15-of-21 challenges and also operated as an outlet down the left channel as he completed 85% of his 80 pass attempts.
Best Passer: Aurélien Tchouaméni, France
The Real Madrid man marshaled the midfield as the only outfield player to start all three of France’s matches under Deschamps. Of a team-high 92 passes, Tchoaumeni completed 88, six of which were line-breaking.
Best Challenger: Ibrahima Konaté, France
In defeat, Konate did still manage to stake his claim to remain a starter at the back under Deschamps as he experiments with Dapo Upamecano and Raphael Varane. The Liverpool enforcer did not lose any of his eight tackles and successfully defended 4-of-5 dribbles.
It was a relatively quiet match for both men between the sticks, with Steve Mandanda and Aymen Dahmen making two saves each.
The French keeper may rue not doing better with Khazri’s goal, which was deemed saveable, while Dahmen held the French at bay with two saves from eight shots faced to record a second clean sheet in Qatar.