Mnari keeps cool as Diouf rages
Tunisia 1 Senegal 0
Sunday 08 February 2004
Tunisia last night turned to their little-known local, Jawhar Mnari, to score the goal that took them to victory against a star-studded Senegal and into the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations.
In a bad-tempered quarter-final played in fog, Mnari, who plays for Esperance Sportive de Tunis, headed home from 12 yards after Ziad Jaziri had attempted an overhead kick.
In a match that had been even in goal chances and very tactical on both sides - more European in style than African - Mnari's goal in the 19th minute of the second half seemed to throw El Hadj Diouf's men into disarray. From that point on, the Lions of Terranga lost their nerve, swapping tactical, tight play for the behaviour of slighted prima donnas. They reaped a harvest of yellow cards from that point on until the end of the 10 minutes' stoppage time alloted by Emirates referee Mr Ali Bujsaim.
Diouf, who has had an unimpressive Cup of Nations, again expended a lot of energy without ever finding his focus. At the front, Henri Camara and Lamine Sakho kept their heads cooler than the temperamental Liverpool striker. At the back, Pape Malick Diop rose admirably to the task of blocking Silva Dos Santos - the high-profile Brazilian who became a naturalised Tunisian in the run-up to the competition.
After the game Diouf was restrained when he tried to get close to the referee, who was escorted off by dozens of security officials.
Mnari's goal - which sent the home fans in the 60,000 crowd in the Rades stadium into raptures - takes Tunisia to their first Nations Cup semi-final since 1996. On that occasion they reached the final, losing to South Africa. They will next play the winners of the quarter-final between Cameroon and Nigeria.
Tunisia 1 Senegal 0
Half-time: 1-0 Attendance: 60,000
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