18 June 2018

Africa: Tunisia Scores Africa's First Goal of the World Cup!

Photo: SABC Screenshot
Ferjani Sassi successfully took the penalty for Tunisia.
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Cape Town — Tunisia is up, carrying the hopes of Africa on their shoulders. Let's not talk about that EU membership application right now, okay?

Anyway, two minutes into the game and Tunisia are forced to defend vigorously with a shot to goal from the British players.

England's Dele Alli at the centre of the action the first, and then the second attempt minutes later.

So much action that the Carthage Eagles goalkeeper is seen receiving some attention for his arm after a long slide clearing the goal, and holds his arm in pain.

Substitute goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha is now warming up to take over.

Harry Kane – captain - scores for England after 11 minutes – feels like finally after three attempts in the early part of the match.

It's rather unkind of the commentator to say that everything that could go wrong for the Tunisians has already... I mean they haven't scored an own goal!

Ben Mustapha replaces a weeping Mouez Hassen after 17min and is immediately put to work.

England goes on a series of attacks.

Two clear attacks and two corners from Tunisia in the space of a few minutes – cleared with no problem though. Nice work from the fresh goalie.

Kyle Walker pulls Fakhereddine Ben Youssef down.

Penalty! Ooh Tunisia, better not mess it up. I don't care if Messi did.

First African goal of World Cup 2018! Ferjani Sassi beats England's Jordan Pickford.

More after half-time...

Yhoo, these breaks are over quickly! Didn't even finish my snack. How fit are these players?

Is England's Alli still on? He was limping earlier. Ah, there he is... not serious then I guess. Or England's hoping his fire from the first few minutes of the match will return.

I'm clearly not invested enough - the game's a bit boring when there's no attack.

Wait, a free kick for England. But first they're going take Raheem Sterling off and replace him with Marcus Rashford. According to the commentator, who's just annoying now, Rashford can win a game if "he's let off the leash". Tunisia's wall is looking good though, so no go for England. Also because Kieran Trippier went too wide.

Although I find these commentators annoying - they do come with gems like England have never lost to a team from the continent before...

Another free kick from England - Ashley Young this time. Some tempers there. Fight, fight! No, sorry.

Over the posts for Young. Nicely done on that distraction fight bit there Tunisia. Heh.

Someone has a horn. It's no vuvuzela, but it breaks the droning monotony of the fans. Ten minutes to go, and another free kick for England ending in nothing.

Rashford showing his worth there by winning England a corner. What will they do? Goalie's punch hits one of the British players - Mustapha gets the wind kicked out of him. Bad luck for the Carthage Eagles goalkeepers tonight. But Tunisia decide to replace their captain Wahbi Khazri with another striker, Saber Khalifa. What lovely names.

Find myself saying "Nice!" when Tunisia steals the ball from England, and shouting "No! Denied!" when England's shot at goal is saved by Mustapha. I guess I'm into soccer now. The World Cup will apparently do that to you.

From a Young corner, to Kane who scores again, with a header.

"Stolen at the death!" This commentator hey. "A pile of English joy!" as the England players celebrate with throwing themselves on the field and hugging.

"The Kane Way!" Ugh. England beat Tunisia 2-1.

Disclaimer: Juanita Williams, allAfrica's managing editor, is not a soccer/football expert, or even a fan. She last watched a full match when South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.

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