Tunisia to face Klinsmann, Demons beat Mbappe-Sala

Qatar defeats France 1-0 in World Cup group stage
A 3-1 win over Egypt, where Salah played last month.

Tunisia, South Korea’s opponent on Sept. 13, is a so-called “goblin team” that lags behind South Korea in the FIFA rankings

but has pulled off upsets against powerhouses such as France and Egypt.

The men’s national soccer team

Led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, will play Tunisia in a friendly at 8 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

Tunisia is ranked 29th in the FIFA rankings, lower than South Korea at 26th.

South Korea leads the all-time series 1-1. South Korea drew 0-0 in Tunisia in March 2002, just before the Korea-Japan

World Cup, under then-manager Gus Hiddink, and Hong Myung-bok lost 0-1 in May 2014, which also served as the team’s send-off for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Tunisia hasn’t had much success on the international stage. It has never made it past the group stage at a World Cup.

In the Africa Cup of Nations, a competition between African nations, they won their first title in 2004, but have repeatedly

failed to make it out of the quarterfinals and group stage since. They reached the semifinals in 2019 and finished fourth,

but fell in the quarterfinals again at the 2021 tournament.

At their last international tournament, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they were also eliminated in the group stage.

However, they pulled off an upset with a 1-0 win over France in their final group game.

Their opponents, France, had won their previous two group games to advance to the round of 16 and fielded a number of

candidates against Tunisia. Still, Tunisia held on to a late goal from key player Wahbi Khazri to defeat France, who were

forced to substitute Kylian Mbappe, one of the world’s best goal scorers. After their humiliation in Tunisia, France went on to reach the final and finish as runners-up.

So far this year, Tunisia has been on a roll. Most notably, they beat Egypt 3-1 in an A-match away game last month.

Mohamed Salah, one of the best goalies in the world, started for Egypt, but Tunisia came away with a convincing win.

On paper, the Tunisians are a force to be reckoned with.

They are led by the likes of 20-year-old Hannibal Mebry, who plays for English giants Manchester United, and Aissa

Raidouni, who plays for German side Union Berlin.

The midfield is particularly strong. Anis Ben Slimane (Sheffield United), Eljes Skiri (Frankfurt), and Hamza Lafia (Lecce) are all playing in the big leagues.

Up front, Tunisia’s second all-time A-match scorer, Wahbi Khazri, retired after the World Cup in Qatar, but captain

Youssef Moussaqni (Al Arabi), Isam Zebali (Gamba Osaka), and Haitem Zouini (Stade Tunisien) are veterans.

Tunisia has a strong presence in Asia. In the final of the Kirin Cup Soccer 2022 in Japan last June, Tunisia defeated Japan 3-0.

It will be interesting to see how Klinsmann’s men fare against a formidable opponent. 스포츠토토링크

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