Sunday, 16 January 2022 21:21

Tunisia bounce back to thrash Mauritania at Africa Cup of Nations.

Staff Reporter.

Tunisia bounced back from their controversial opening defeat at the Africa Cup of Nations by brushing aside Mauritania 4-0 in Group F.

Hamza Mathlouthi drove in a half volley in the fourth minute and Wahbi Khazri slotted in a second four minutes later.

Khazri got his second after the break and Seifeddine Jaziri added the fourth.

Tunisia had lost their first game 1-0 to Mali - a match which was ended13 seconds early - but their protests were dismissed by tournament organisers.

Youssef Msakni, who came off the bench to feature at his seventh Nations Cup after recovering from coronavirus, missed a late penalty for the 2004 champions, pulling his effort against the left-hand upright.

The Carthage Eagles are just the second team to score four goals in a game at this year's Nations Cup, after hosts Cameroon, and victory puts them a point behind The Gambia and Mali.

Tunisia face the Gambians in their final group match on Friday (19:00 GMT), while back-to-back defeats mean Mauritania can no longer reach the last 16.

Tunisia showed no sign of any lingering frustration following the fall-out from their first defeat, taking control inside the opening 10 minutes in Limbe.

Former Sunderland attacker Khazri, who had seen a penalty saved against Mali, made no mistake for the opener when he controlled a ball from Anis Ben Slimane and passed into the net to double his side's lead.

His second in the 64th minute capped a fine team move, as Khazri stepped over a ball into the box and stroked home after being found by Ghaylene Chaalali.

Two minutes later Khazri, now at Saint-Etienne, rounded off a captain's performance as his defence-splitting through-ball was converted first time by Jaziri with the outside of the right boot.