Tunisia hold Senegal to draw

A late Majdi Traoui goal earns Tunisia a point in the opening match of Group D.

    Tunisia's Yassine Chikhaoui, centre, clashes with Guirane Ndaw, right, in the 2-2 draw [Reuters]
    However the 'Teranga Lions' were punished for a host of missed chances when Tunisia's Majdi Traoui unleashed a stunning shot that flew past motionless goalkeeper Tony Sylva seven minutes from full-time.
     
    It was the first draw of the four-day-old tournament after victories for hosts Ghana, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Mali, defending champions Egypt and Zambia in the other three groups.
     

    "Overall the result is fair, but we did create so many chances."

    Henri Kasperczak,
    Senegal coach

    "Tunisia had a lot of success with that 30 metre shot. We should have killed off the game, but the opening match is never easy," said Henri Kasperczak, Senegal coach.
     
    "Both teams played well tactically. In the first half we were surprised by the Tunisians, and we were chasing the lead.
     
    "Overall the result is fair, but we did create so many chances."
     
    The 'Carthage Eagles' opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Jemaa combined with Wissem Bekri before unleashing a low left-foot drive across Sylva into the far corner of the net.
     
    Senegal's Fulham midfielder Diomansy Kamara, one of several English Premiership stars on parade for the 'Lions', burst through soon after only for Tunisia goalkeeper Hamdi Kasraoui to come off his line and avert the danger.
     
    Late equaliser
     


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    Highly rated France-based striker Mamadou Niang came agonisingly close to levelling midway through the opening half when he turned twice before just firing wide of the far post.
     
    El Hadji Diouf, Senegal's star striker, was being closely marked with up to three Tunisian defenders policing him every time he gained possession, while Yassine Chikhaoui was thwarted by poor control at the other end.
     
    Senegal equalised with seconds remaining in first-half stoppage time when captain Radhi Jaidi failed to clear an Ousmane Ndoye pass and Sall beat Kasraoui from close range.
     
    Just after the hour mark, Tunisia resembled amateurs rather than former champions as they tried to clear the ball in a goalmouth scramble and it finally fell invitingly for Kamara, who made no mistake from close range.
     
    But seven minutes from full-time Senegal paid dearly for not converting their chances and putting the game beyond the reach of Tunisia when Traoui brought the teams level again.
     
    A weak clearance was picked up by 2004 Nations Cup-winning midfielder Jawhar Mnari and his square pass rolled to Traoui, who unleashed an unstoppable drive that flew into the net.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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