Wahbi Khazri secured a point for Tunisia against Mali in Suez to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. 

The 28-year-old deflected free-kick earned a 1-1. 

Mali had taken the lead when goalkeeper Mouez Hassen spilt Diadie Samassekou's corner into his own net. 

The tie started in a somewhat quick fashion with both Mali and Tunisia making early moves to find the net.

Tunisia, however, settled quickly and enacted a solid game plan to suffocate the opposition defenders by pressing high up the pitch and preventing Moussa Marega from getting the ball in dangerous positions.

Khazri got a chance to break the deadlock from a free kick in the 4th minute and Saint Etienne forward released an unstoppable shot only to be denied by the crossbar.

Tunisia continued to pile up the pressure and another chance fell on the feet of Khazri. He tried an audacious one from close to the centre circle in the 6th minute but Djigui Diarra was well positioned to make the save.

The Eagles of Carthage missed yet another opportunity to go ahead and this time it was from a corner.  Sliti delivered a dangerous one and it found the head of Yassine Khenissi but he could only direct it over the bar from close range, much to the delight of Diarra.

The Eagles gradually found their feet, beating the high press from their opponents and creating some chances.

Their captain Diaby had the first crack on goal for Mali from long range in the 20th minute but his effort was tame and easy for Mouez Hassen to deal with.

Tunisia had another attack 11 minutes later with Wahbi Khazri getting heavily involved. The former Sunderland man, however, shot well wide with the game still level.

Tunisia came alive at the start of the second half and got the chance to score from a corner in the 57th minute. Khenessi flicked a set piece on from the near post but he watched on as the ball flew over the woodwork.

Mali also created some chances afterwards and were rewarded with the first goal of the game three minutes later. Samassekou delivered a corner kick into a dangerous area and goalkeeper Mouez Hassan fumbled the ball into his own net. 

Tunisia pushed on for the equalizer and got one in the 70th minute.  Khazri’s free-kick took a wicked deflection off Marega into the net.

Mali turned on the heat in search of regaining the lead but Haidara’s shot was well saved by Hassen in the 82nd minute.

Mali tried once again within added time and almost got ahead once again.

Marega made a brilliant run to beat his market and was left with only the goalkeeper to beat but Hassen smartly came off his line and made a crucial save as the game ended in a stalemate. 

The draw leaves Tunisia with two points in Group E while Mali have four after beating Mauritania in their opening game.


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