Tunisia will square off with Mauritania in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group F match at the Stade Omnisport de Limbe in Cameroon on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 6:00 pm CAT.
The Carthage Eagles’ Group F campaign got off to a bad start as they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Mali on Wednesday in a match that ended in controversy with Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe ending the game prematurely.
Therefore, Tunisia, who won the 2004 Afcon title, are placed fourth on the group standings and they will be desperate for a victory against Mauritania which would revive their ambition of progressing to the Last 16.
The North African giants have been boosted by the availability of their inspirational captain Youssef Msakni, who missed their encounter against Mali after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Striker Youssef Msakni joined the national team’s residence in Limbe, Cameroon, to participate in the African Cup of Nations,” a statement from the Tunisian Football Association read.
“Msakni had failed to travel due to his infection with the Coronavirus, and after he recovered from the infection and he made the rest of the necessary medical examinations that confirmed his recovery, [and] he joined his colleagues in Cameroon.”
Meanwhile, Mauritania marked their second appearance in the Afcon finals with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to tournament debutants, The Gambia in a match that was played on Wednesday.
The Lions of Chinguetti, who are yet to win a match in this tournament since they made their debut in 2019, are placed third on the group standings and they will look to cause an upset when they face the Carthage Eagles.
Didier Gomez Da Rosa, the Mauritania head coach, was disappointed following their clash with The Gambia, but he made it known that they will have to find a way to create problems for Tunisia.
“A timid start to the match, complicated with too much technical waste. We made a lot of mistakes, we paid for it dearly with this goal which came very early,” Gomez Da Rosa told CAF Online.
“We’re not looking for excuses, it’s a shame that we missed the start of the game. We are going to look for another game system, another animation that will cause problems for Tunisia during the next match.”
The last meeting between Tunisia and Mauritania was on 30 November 2021.
Tunisia hammered Mauritania 5-1 in the Fifa Arab World Cup match which was played at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar.