Arab groups are making an affect on the first World Cup within the Center East. Tunisia held European Championship semifinalist Denmark to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday, three hours after Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in a surprising upset.
At an Schooling Metropolis Stadium crammed virtually fully with its red-clad supporters, Tunisia doubtless deserved extra however an professional save shortly earlier than halftime by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel helped Denmark protect the draw.
Having already gone right down to the grass after Tunisia broke by way of the defence, Schmeichel caught his hand as much as deflect a shot from Issam Jebali, who performs his membership ball in Denmark for Odense.
It was simply the form of save that the keeper’s father, former Manchester United nice Peter Schmeichel, used to drag off.
The match marked Christian Eriksen’s return to a serious match lower than a yr and a half after his cardiac arrest with Denmark at Euro 2020.
Denmark thought they need to have had a penalty in stoppage time for handball that was checked on the VAR display screen by referee Cesar Arturo Ramos, however he as an alternative gave a free kick to Tunisia for a foul within the build-up.
Denmark would have hoped to create extra probabilities within the recreation, however their finest got here late within the second half when Cornelius solely needed to nod the ball over the road on the again put up, however as an alternative flicked it onto the woodwork.
Tunisia, who this week had spoken of their delight at qualifying for World Cup in an Arab nation, had been fired up from the primary whistle, celebrating every sort out like a objective, and had two wonderful probabilities to open the scoring.
The primary fell to Denmark-based Issam Jebali when he discovered himself one-on-one with Kasper Schmeichel. The second noticed Aissa Laidouni race clear from his personal half, however as he approached the Denmark penalty space, he hesitated and opted for a cross that was not on fairly than advancing 10 yards and having an effort on objective.
Within the context of the sport, each would possibly have a look at it as two factors dropped, however Tunisia will definitely be the happier, given the low degree of expectation positioned on them – from exterior their camp not less than – going into the match.
They may face Australia subsequent on Saturday, a recreation they may have focused as their most winnable within the group, whereas Denmark meet France behind the factors tally they might have set for themselves at this stage.