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Tunisian fans celebrate draw in World Cup opening match

Tunisia soccer fans gather before a large screen in Tunis to watch their national team play against Denmark in a World Cup soccer match played in Qatar, onNov. 22, 2022.   -  
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Hassene Dridi/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.


Fans gathered in Tunis Tuesday (Nov to watch the national football team kick off their World Cup tournament. The Carthage Eagles will face Australia Saturday (Nov 26).

Tunisia held European Championship semifinalist Denmark to a 0-0 draw. 

Football lovers were over the moon.

''We didn't play badly. We were able to score, but the referee canceled a penalty kick for us", Charfeddine Ben Osman passionately explains.

"We did a good job. Now, we have to do more against France and Australia. I hope God will be with us. Only make us happy in this country."

Despite the draw at the Education City Stadium in Qatar, both teams produced 13 shots with several goal chances. And they each secure a precious point in group D. France is leading with 3 points after a win against Australia.

"How courageous, how strong, how willing they were!", this other Tunisian supporter exclaimed. 

"This is the determination that we want. This is the strength of the Tunisian players that we want. That's why all the world is talking about us. These players are the "Italian-Arab "players. We have the strongest determination and will in the Arab world. With this determination, we will win," Oussama Dridi predicted.

Before a stadium filled almost entirely with Tunisia's red-clad supporters, midfielder Aïssa Laïdouni set the tone in the very first minute when he stripped emblematic Denmark playmaker, Christian Eriksen of the ball, with an aggressive sliding tackle — then stood up and pumped his arms menacingly, gesturing to the crowd to get even more fired up.

Tunisia likely deserved more but an expert save shortly before halftime by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel helped Denmark preserve the draw.

Having already gone down to the grass after Tunisia broke through the defense.

Assuming his customary playmaker position, Dane Christian Eriksen produced a dangerous long-distance shot on goal in the second half that Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen had to bat away.

And on the ensuing corner, Denmark hit the post.

After a lack of atmosphere at several of the opening matches, the huge number of Tunisian fans inside Education City Stadium made it feel like a home match for the North African team. 

The fans chanted, banged drums, and blew air horns when their squad had the ball — then hissed and whistled loudly whenever Denmark had possession.

Tunisia seeks to reach the knockout stage for the first time in its sixth World Cup appearance.

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