Home Sport Goalless stalemate between Denmark and Tunisia leaves Group D wide open

Goalless stalemate between Denmark and Tunisia leaves Group D wide open

Goalless stalemate between Denmark and Tunisia leaves Group D wide open

Durban — African representatives Tunisia put up a brave performance as they earned a share of the spoils against Denmark in their opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

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IOL Sport football writer Smiso Msomi lists five things we learnt after Tunisia and Denmark’s stalemate.

Differences in quality non-existent

The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia turned up in front of a sea of red and white shirts in the crowd, immediately embracing the rafters of fans with the first tackle, ensuring the 12th man was on their side.

Coming up against a Denmark outfit inside the top 10 of the Fifa World rankings, many would've expected to see a gulf in quality with 30th-placed Tunisia.

However, that was not the case as the North Africans matched last year's European Championship semi-finalist, creating a better set of goalscoring chances too.

Denmark's lack of attacking threat

The Danes' coach Kasper Kjulmand would've been very worried seeing his side struggle to break down one of the 'minnows' in the group with the depth of attacking talent they have.

Sevilla's Kasper Dolberg partnered Club Brugge's Skov Olsen up front, supported by the imagination of Manchester United's Christian Eriksen, however the trio found it difficult to carve open the Tunisians.

It came as no surprise that Kjulmand turned to the expertise of FC Copenhagen's forward Andreas Cornelius, looking for a direct threat with the chances few and far between.

Structure vs Intensity

A key component of Denmark's recent success in major competitions (Euro 2021 and Uefa Nations League) has been a distinct attention to detail in terms of structural organisation.

Unsurprisingly enough, Tunisia opted to overwhelm them with intensity, assertiveness, and aggression, a plan that proved a success until the latter stages of the match when bodies began to tire.

Both sides lined up in varied 4-3-3 formations, a decision that influenced a lot of the action with stalemates in individual battles all over the pitch.

Aymen Dahmen, a wall in between the posts

Although he had five international caps under his belt, Dahmen had not featured for Tunisia during the entire World Cup qualification campaign.

Following his performance in his first-ever World Cup appearance, it's fair to say he answered all of his critics the right way as he shouldered responsibility in the second half with waves of Denmark attacks coming through.

The CS Sfaxien man made three crucial saves for his country as they survived a late onslaught from one of the teams expected to go past the group stages.

Australia and Tunisia in with a fighting chance

Denmark's failure to dispatch arguably the weakest side in the group has opened a gap for Australia or Tunisia to pip them to what is expected to be a huge fight for the runners-up spot, considering defending champions France are still in the picture.

If the Tunisians can replicate this type of performance in their next set of fixtures, they could become one of the surprise packages of this World Cup finals.

@ScribeSmiso

IOL Sport

Original Article