DUSHANBE, August 27, Asia-Plus -- Fifa.com – Tunisia yesterday beat Tajikistan 1-0.  The Tunisian winner came from Youssef Msakni after 82 minutes at the Suwon Sports Complex.  However, despite the defeat, Tajikistan also qualified for the Round of 16.

The first half began at a fierce pace, with both sides throwing men forward looking for an opening goal.

The two coaches had named much-changed line-ups, but that did not prevent a succession of chances falling to both sides.

Tajikistan appeared set to make the breakthrough after being awarded a penalty, only for captain Samad Shohzuhurov to waste the resulting spot kick.  From that point on the teams'' offensive fervor gave way to a more cautious approach, the 0-0 shoreline stubbornly refusing to budge.

The heat and humidity clearly began taking its toll on the players after the interval, with the game being played at a slower tempo than during the first period. For 35 second-half minutes, the play was almost entirely confined to the midfield area.  Driven forward by midfield powerhouse Youssef Msakni, the Carthage Eaglets cranked up the pressure on the Tajikistan goal late on though, and their persistence was rewarded when Msakni latched onto a corner kick to fire home a spectacular winner.