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WCQ: Tunisia eye third round with Zambia win

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Tunisia will do battle with Zambia in their final 2022 Fifa World Cup qualification Group B match at the Stade Olympique de Radès in Radès on Tuesday.

Kick-off is at 9pm CAT.

The Carthage Eagles are wounded as they are coming off their first defeat in in Group B having succumbed to a surprise 1-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea away on Saturday.

Despite the defeat, Tunisia remained at the top of the group standings – level on points with second-placed Equatorial Guinea, who will face Mauritania away on Tuesday.

Mondher Kebaier, the Tunisia head coach, has stressed the importance of solidarity in his camp and also discussed the absence of Youssef Al-Maskani and Elias Al-Sakhiri.

“We are close to the end of the first stage of the qualifiers, during which we worked with great solidarity and in full communication,” Kebaier told the media.

“Now we will enter a new and decisive period. Youssef is an important element in the national team and his addition is great and always decisive.

“But unfortunately the injury deprived us of his services and the same for Elias Al-Sakhiri, and we hope that the other players will compensate for their absence.”

Meanwhile, Zambia boosted their slim hopes of reaching the third round of qualifying by securing an emphatic 4-0 win over Mauritania at home on Saturday.

The win over Mauritania ended Chipolopolo’s three-match winless run and they are placed third on the group standings – three points behind leaders Tunisia.

Beston Chambeshi, the Zambia head coach, explained why Chipolopolo had a slow start to the World Cup qualifiers and he feels that the team is improving.

“Covid-9 played a role,” Chambeshi told the local media after their big win over Mauritania.

Read Also: WCQ: SAFA to lodge complaint against ref after Ghana loss

“We missed a lot of players because of injuries and this Covid thing. but yes we are happy that the team is now intact and all players are in.

“There is no excuse, all we need is to make sure we put everything in place.”

The last time Tunisia hosted Zambia was in January 2008.

The Carthage Eagles claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Chipolopolo in an international friendly match which was played at Stade Olympique de Radès.

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Ligue 1: Marseille stunned by in-form Brest

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Marseille missed the chance to cement their grip on second place in the Ligue 1 table on Saturday as Jorge Sampaoli’s side threw away the lead to lose 2-1 at home to a Brest team on a record winning run.

Brazilian international Gerson gave Marseille a first-half lead at the Velodrome with his second goal in as many games after playing a one-two with captain Dimitri Payet.

However, Brest drew level early in the second half as Romain Faivre scored a penalty awarded for a handball by Boubacar Kamara.

Franck Honorat then crashed a superb winner in off the underside of the crossbar as the side from Brittany made it six successive league wins, the best run in their history in the top flight.

Read Also: EPL: Masuaku fluke helps West Ham beat Chelsea in London derby

They are up to sixth, while Marseille remain second, 12 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain who are in action later on Saturday at Lens.

Kylian Mbappe could be rested for a PSG side already missing the injured Neymar, but Lionel Messi — who won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time on Monday — should start.

Marseille could drop down the table depending on results elsewhere this weekend, with Rennes and Nice both sitting within two points of the former Champions League winners.

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Bernardo stars again as Man City move to top of EPL with Watford win

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Bernardo Silva continued his scintillating form as Manchester City surged to the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 3-1 victory at struggling Watford.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with a simple header on four minutes as the visitors threatened to run riot against the home side’s porous defence.

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Jack Grealish had several chances to double the advantage before the in-form Bernardo fizzed in a rebound from a narrow angle just past the half hour.

 

City continued to pose all of the questions following the restart and Bernardo grabbed his seventh goal of the season with a wonderful curler that flew into the top corner on 63 minutes.

For long spells it looked like a case of how many for the visitors but Watford did give the home support some cheer when substitute Cucho Hernandez acrobatically volleyed in a rebound 16 minutes from time.

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The result means City take advantage of former leaders Chelsea’s defeat at West Ham earlier in the day to move a point clear of second-placed Liverpool at the summit. Watford remain three points above the drop zone in 17th spot.

Pep Guardiola’s men will now turn their focus to Tuesday’s Champions League clash at RB Leipzig having already guaranteed top spot in Group A before hosting Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday. Watford travel to Brentford on Friday evening.

 

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EPL: Origi nets in stoppage time as Liverpool take advantage of Chelsea slip

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