In a show of strength, the Eagles of Carthage have defeated Zimbabwe, effectively forcing pre-game favorites Algeria out of the football tournament. Tunisia's Polish-born coach said their "strategy was simple."
Tunisia on Monday defeated Zimbabwe 4-2, effectively pushing out pre-game favorites Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations group stages in Gabon.
The Eagles of Carthage collected three goals after 36 minutes. Zimbabwe pulled a goal back, but the score ended 4-1 at halftime.
"The strategy was simple. We wanted to show our fighting spirit early on and that kind of surprised our opponents," said Polish-born Tunisia coach Henryk Kasperczak.
"We had a lot of opportunities to score and, fortunately, we scored those - unlike in previous games. I am very happy about the qualification and I can only compliment my players," he added.
'We are not qualified'
Meanwhile, Algeria's tie against Senegal wasn't enough to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Ahead of the match, Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse changed the entire team except for skipper Kara Mbodj after securing the top spot.
Despite Algeria's talented Islam Slimani, a striker for Leicester City, making two goals against Senegal, the team failed to win a single game in the African football tournament.
"The draw against Zimbabwe was the first match. It was not the excuse why we did not advance. We are not qualified and maybe that's what we deserve," said Slimani after the game.
Tunisia is set to face Burkina Faso in Libreville later this month in the quarterfinals. Senegal is slated to play against Cameroon.
Senegal's goalkeeper Khadim N'Diaye jumps to catch the ball during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group B match
ls/cmk (dpa, Reuters, AFP)