In a historic but heartbreaking soccer match, Tunisia defeated France.

Soccer news Dec 12, 2022

Despite a historical success against their former colonial state, the Tunisians were eliminated from the World Cup in the round of 16 on Wednesday, November 30 (Reuters). This was the latest in a remarkable streak of victories by Arab teams over soccer superpowers.

Tunisian supporters celebrated their team's 1-0 victory despite their team's elimination from the round of 16 in the first-ever World Cup to be held in an Arab country, Qatar.

As with Saudi Arabia's victory against Argentina last week, this was the third time an Arab nation has shocked a highly favored opponent.

After Saudi Arabia lost 2-1 to Mexico on Wednesday and host Qatar was eliminated on Tuesday, the only Arab team still in the tournament is Morocco, which surprised second-ranked Belgium on Sunday and will face Canada on Thursday.

The unexpected Arab triumphs in the early going have been widely celebrated throughout the Arab area, despite the region's severe political differences.

Carradine ben Salem, who watched the game at a Tunisian café, remarked, "The win against France was amazing and had a distinct flavor... Arab football restored its prestige from the past colonialists countries."

Dozens of fans rushed the central Habib Bourguiba Avenue after the game concluded to celebrate and wave flags in what is normally the location of political demonstrations.

About 2,000 supporters, many of them decked out in Tunisian national soccer jerseys or with their faces painted, had gathered in the city's designated fan zone to cheer on their team.

In the end, it was incredibly hard to be knocked out, but it was a wonderful triumph and a fantastic performance," Ben Salem remarked.

According to Abeer Awaisha, a Tunisian supporter based in Qatar, Saudi fans welcomed Tunisia's success, another example of the Arab togetherness that has been a hallmark of this tournament.

Even though they came back to tie the game against Mexico with a late goal, Saudi Arabia was eliminated only hours after Tunisia lost out on the spot in the round of 16.

Mashael Hussein, a Saudi fan in Riyad, stated, "It's enough that Saudi triumphed over Argentina, it is a historic, unequaled accomplishment." True, we wanted to win again for national pride, but the match didn't go our way.

Another Saudi fan, Saleem al-Harbi, claimed in Doha that Arab players had shown their worth by competing with the greatest in the world.

In the future, he hopes to see more Arab and Asian teams advance to the tournament's later stages and ultimately win it all. "We are able to achieve it and the European and Southern American teams are no different from us," he added.

"We can compete with them and maybe surpass them."

Khalil Farouki, 25, a Morocco supporter, remarked that the tournament had brought Arab supporters together, stating, "There is tremendous solidarity amongst us, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. We support each other."

That feeling of unity has been reflected by certain Arab leaders during the World Cup.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, of Saudi Arabia, who have just reconciled after years of hostility, wore scarves and flags of each other's countries while watching their respective World Cup matches.

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