Tunisia holds favourites Denmark to a barren draw
Underdogs Tunisia drew energy from a spirited crowd at the Education City Stadium on Tuesday and held Denmark 0-0 in the opening Group D clash at the World Cup in Qatar.
The north Africans enjoyed noisy support from a sea of red-clad fans, many of whom live and work in the Gulf emirate, and could have gone ahead three minutes before the break but Kasper Schmeichel made a superb one-handed save to deny Issam Jebali.
Tunisia started the first 45 minutes of the campaign exceptionally well. If not for Kasper Schmeichel, Tunisia would’ve gone into half-time with a lead. Denmark on the other hand, looked a bit shocked and out of place in that first half with no goals.
Coming just three hours after Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in a shocking upset and before a stadium filled almost entirely with Tunisia supporters, it was another big result for two of the four Arab nations competing at the first World Cup in the Middle East.
Tunisia likely deserved more but an expert save shortly before halftime by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel helped Denmark preserve the draw.
The match marked Christian Eriksen's return to a major tournament less than a year and a half after his cardiac arrest with Denmark at Euro 2020.
Assuming his customary playmaker position, Eriksen produced a dangerous long-distance shot on goal in the second half that Tunisia goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen had to bat away.
Denmark, who were the clear favourite to win the match, were forced to a goalless draw by Tunisia when the referee blew the whistle to end the game.