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Tunisia out of Africa Cup of Nations after South Africa draw

TUNISIA limped out of the Africa Cup of Nations finals with a whimper after they were held to a 0-0 draw by South Africa in the sweltering heat of Korhogo, a result that sends their opponents into the last-16.

The onus was on Tunisia to make the play as they needed a win to move off the bottom of Group E, but they created very little in the contest and failed to break down a resolute South Africa.

Mali tops the pool with five points from their three games following a goalless draw with Namibia, with South Africa in second place with four points. Namibia also qualified for the first time as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Tunisia are the third-ranked African side at the tournament in the Ivory Coast behind Morocco and Senegal, but following a shock loss to Namibia in their opening game, they could only manage draws with Mali and South Africa and join Algeria and Ghana as surprise casualties in the pool phase.

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There was not much goal-mouth action in the first half, South Africa clearly content to hold out for a draw and Tunisia lacked the quality in the final third to unduly trouble them.

Tunisia forward Elias Achouri headed wide when well-placed, while at the other end Evidence Makgopa put the ball on the wrong side of the post after an excellent run and cross from Percy Tau.

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It was more of the same in the second half as Tunisia tried, and mostly failed, to create clear-cut chances and South Africa sat back and looked to hit them on the break.

Sphephelo Sithole, Teboho Mokoena and Tau all shot wide in quick succession as South Africa chanced their arm from a distance.

But Tunisia had the best opening of the game with two minutes remaining. Haythem Jouini rose unmarked six yards from goal but put his header well over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

South Africa will play the winner of Group F in the last-16, which contains Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania, and concludes later on Wednesday.

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By The African Mirror

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