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Africa Cup of Nations

(ATT 18,000) 23rd January 2012 - Kick off 19:00 Ref: D Bennett

Morocco Morocco vs Tunisia Tunisia

Morocco 1

H Kharja (86)

ft

Tunisia 2

K Korbi (34)
Y Msakni (76)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 8:56 pm, January 23rd 2012

  1. FT

    But that's it! Tunisia record a famous win over their bitter African rivals and go joint top of Group C. It's been a thoroughly entertaining game of football, and I hope you've enjoyed it too. I'm Ryan Gordon, and here's wishing you a pleasant remainder of your evening. Cheers all!

  2. 90+4

    Heart-in-mouth moment for Tunisian fans now as the Moroccans push forward in droves. A ball to the far-post is not dealt with by the defence, allowing Adel Taarabt to get his head to the ball, but he can't keep his effort down and the chance is gone.

  3. 90+3

    Just a couple of minutes left here now, and Aymen Mathlouthi goes into the referee's book for time wasting. The Morocco players are furious with the goalkeeper, who merely gives a rye smile before blasting the ball up field.

  4. 90

    The fourth official raises his board and shows we will have five minutes of added time at the end. Are we in for some late drama?

  5. 86

    Morocco have managed to pull on back, although it's in controversial fashion as the ball is played back into the area from an off-side position, but the linesman's flag stays down and Houcine Kharjah is able to bundle the ball into the back of the net.

  6. 85

    GOAL! Morocco 1-2 Tunisia! Houcine Kharjah!

  7. 82

    Less than 10 minutes to go here this evening, and Morocco coach Eric Gerets is cutting a frustrated figure on the sideline. His side have created enough chances tonight, but their finishing has been found wanting for much of the game.

  8. 76

    That might just do it for Tunisia. Youssef Msakni, on the field for no longer than 15 minutes, is the man whose name goes up in lights, dancing his way past two defenders before slamming a low drive into the back of the net via a slight deflection. It's hard to see a way back for Morocco, who have struggled against a well-oiled Tunisian defence.

  9. 75

    GOAL! Morocco 0-2 Tunisia! Youssef Msakni!

  10. 70

    Tunisia have enjoyed their best spell of possession over the last five minutes and are passing the ball across the pitch with real confidence. Still, with only one goal in it you feel that it could go any way this evening.

  11. 65

    The Moroccans are still passing and probing, but they aren't getting too much joy out of the Tunisia defence who have tightened up significantly in the second period. Still, it would be unwise to defend for the remaining 25 minutes or so of this encounter. As I write that substitute Hadji latches on to a glorious long-ball, shows sublime skill to loop the ball up over his marker, but the striker can't keep his shot down and curls wide from just a few yards out.

  12. 60

    That substitution is followed by another change, this time Morocco bringing on Hadji for Mbark Boussoufa.

  13. 59

    It's been all Morocco since the restart, but Tunisia break forward with a lightning quick counter attack, led by Saber Khlifa. He breaks free into the area but the goalkeeper is quick off his line and forces the striker out wide, bringing an end to a promising move. Meanwhile, Tunisia take off Sami Allagui for Youssef Msakni.

  14. 55

    Adel Taarabt has looked really lively since coming on and is pulling all the strings in the middle of the park just at the moment. No clear cut chances in the opening 10 minutes of the second-half, but promising signs from the team trailing.

  15. 49

    Morocco coach Eric Gerets made a change at the break, with QPR's Adel Taarabt coming on for Oussama Assaidi. His first involvement is to break into the area before shooting against the arm of a Tunisia defender, but the referee waves away the frantic penalty appeals. A few minutes later and Taarabt is again in the thick of it, this time his shot going wide of the mark.

  16. 46

    Morocco get the ball rolling for the second half!

  17. HT

    So, the teams head into the break with Tunisia just edging proceedings. It was a bit of a soft goal to concede, but Sami Trabelsi won't mind how they come, just as long as they do. Join me after the break for the second-half.

  18. 45

    Younes Belhanda has looked sharp this evening and almost finds a response for his side, skipping past one marker to create himself a decent shooting chance, but his placed effort flashes just the wrong side of the up-right. Shortly after and the fourth official shows we will have two minutes of first-half injury time.

  19. 41

    A bit more sense of urgency from the Lions of the Atlas now, but their play is becoming hasty and a couple of passes are being played astray in the middle of the park. Eric Gerets is furiously trying to get his instructions out to his players, and the Morocco coach does not look too pleased.

  20. 36

    A booking for Morocco now as Mehdi Benatia cynically brings down a rampaging Zouhair Dhaouadi. It proves to be a costly foul by the defender as Khaled Korbi's free-kick into the area evades everyone before nestling in the bottom corner of the net. The Moroccans look shell shocked.

  21. 33

    GOAL! Morocco 0-1 Tunisia! Khaled Korbi!

  22. 31

    Contrary to Paul's earlier comment, Chamakh is looking quite lively for Morocco and wins his side a free-kick with some good hold-up play. Three players line up the set piece, but it's Badr El Kaddouri who curls one up and over the wall, but again the Tunisia goalkeeper proves a real force between the sticks. Korbi was also carded prior to that effort, becoming the first player to go into the referee's book this evening.

  23. 27

    So close to an opener for Tunisia, and very much against the run of play. Zouhair Dhaouadi shows some quick feet to lose his marker before unleashing a stinging drive from the edge of the area, but the ball crashes off the woodwork with the goalkeeper comprehensively beaten. This game is really starting to open up now, which is a delight for the neutral.

  24. 19

    Aymen Mathlouthi has proved the difference between these sides in the opening quarter of the game as the goalkeeper produces another fine save to deny Mbark Boussoufa after he had been slipped in behind the Tunisian defence.

  25. 14

    Some early signs here of that famous rivalry enjoyed between the two North African sides as Marouane Chamakh and Haggui get in each other's faces inside the area. A few minutes later and the Arsenal man is almost left laughing loudest as he is played clean through on goal, but he can only hit the ball straight at the goalkeeper who makes a grateful save.

  26. 9

    Tunisia take slightly longer to get going but eventually do press up field and win the first corner of the match. It's whipped in at the near-post where Bilel Ifa gets a good connection, but Aymen Mathlouthi is equal to the challenge and makes a good save.

  27. 5

    Morocco have started this encounter the brighter of the two sides and win an early free-kick in a dangerous area. The angle is very tight and more conducive for a cross into the area, but Mbark Boussoufa opts to go for target and lashes the ball over the cross bar.

  28. 1

    South African referee Daniel Bennett blows his whistle for the first time and the second Group C match of AFCON 2012 is under way!

  29. The players have already taken to the field and the two respective national anthems ring out around the stadium. The customary handshakes are almost out the way and we're just moments away from the kick off here.

  30. For Tunisia, coach Aymen Mathlouthi is without Issam Jemaa, their top scorer in qualifying, as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury.

  31. So, as expected Morocco start with Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh up front, although fellow Premier League player Adel Taarabt does not making the starting XI.

  32. Tunisia: Aymen Mathlouthi, Aymen Abdennour, Karim, Haggui, Bilel Ifa, Ammar Jemal, Khaled Korbi, Mejdi Traoui, Yassine Chikhaoui, Zouhair Dhaouadi, Sami Allagui, Saber Khlifa

  33. Morocco: Nadir Lamyaghri, Michael Chretien, Mehdi Benatia, Badr El Kaddouri, Ahmed Kantari, Houcine, Kharjah, Oussama Assaidi, Younes Belhanda, Mbark Boussoufa, Nordin Amrabat, Marouane Chamakh

  34. The teams are in.

  35. The term 'rivals' is thrown around quite loosely these days, but a picture of the Moroccan and Tunisian national football teams might be found next to the dictionary definition of the word. So while we are sure to be treated to a full-blooded affair, here's hoping it remains clean, and ends with as many players on the field as it started with.

  36. If you're a betting man/woman/other, and I'm willing to wager you are, our friends at Sky Bet have put Morocco as 7/5 favourites to exact their revenge on Tunisia, who are at 19/10 for the win.

  37. The two teams take to the field already knowing Group C rivals and co-hosts Gabon have claimed their first three points of the tournament following their comfortable 2-0 victory over Niger in today's earlier kick off.

  38. There's more than just the three points on the line for these two sides tonight, with Tunisia having edged Morocco in the 2004 AFCON final while also pipping their African neighbours to a spot in the 2006 World Cup. They say revenge is a dish best served cold...

  39. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'm Ryan Gordon and I'll be taking you through all of tonight's action as Group C rivals Morocco and Tunisia clash in their opening 2012 Africa Cup of Nations encounter.

Matches

Tables

Africa Cup of Nations Group A

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 South Africa 2 4
2 Cape Verde 2 2
3 Morocco 2 2
4 Angola 2 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group B

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ghana 3 7
2 Mali 3 4
3 DR Congo 3 3
4 Niger 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group C

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Burkina 3 5
2 Nigeria 3 5
3 Zambia 3 3
4 Ethiopia 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group D

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ivory Coast 3 7
2 Togo 3 4
3 Tunisia 3 4
4 Algeria 3 1