FIFA World Cup 2018: Panama vs. Tunisia (LIVE COMMENTARY)

This is the 48th match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 holding in Moscow, Russia.

Date & Time of Match:
Thursday, 28
Panama and Tunisia in the Group G at 7 p.m. BST/2 p.m. ET

___SCORE: Panama 1-0 Tunisia____




45′ + 1′ Great defence from Roman Torres! Khazri strikes from close range and Penedo deflects it straight back to him with a dive; the striker’s second effort skims past the keeper but the captain boots it clear.
45′ Two added minutes incoming.
44′ Rodriguez looks to be breaking down the centre, but Sassi nibbles at his heels on the edge of the circle and the Tunisian is booked by the referee.
41′ Khazri! That was a huge miss from the Tunisian forward who is gifted a plum ball 10 yards out and duly smashes it somewhere into the stand behind.
39′ Ben Youssef heads over! The Tunisia man is picked out by Haddadi’s cross from the left wing but can’t guide it under the crossbar, much to his frustration.
37′ Sliti gets a free-kick now for Tunisia as, near his own box, Rodriguez brings him down challenging for the ball.
35′ Avila wins a free-kick shortly after the restart following a Nagguez foul, but Panama are unable to press deep with it. They’re suddenly more animated by their lead though and Tunisia look a little stiff around the back right now.
33′ GOAL! PANAMA SCORE AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY! It’s a strike from Jose Luis Rodriguez, delivered from outside the box, that takes a wicked deflection off Yassine Meriah to skip into the bottom-left corner with Mathlouthi sent the wrong way. Tunisia have been on top in this game but they are behind just after the half-hour mark in Saransk.
31′ Avila spears it long from deep within his own half, looking for Gabriel Torres; Skhiri meets it with his chest and puts it to ground to spark a Tunisia counter-attack.
30′ Panama are caught for offside now as Rodriguez spears a throughball seeking Barcenas out on the left.
27′ Tunisia seem the side more likely to break the deadlock so far; they’ve notched up five shots compared to Panama’s two and have had 71 percent possession inside this opening half-hour.
25′ Barcenas wins a free-kick inside his own half now as a clumsy challenge from Chaalali looking for a high ball brings him down.
23′ Barcenas bursts into a searing break down the left wing that leaves Tunisian defenders scrambling to cover. He passes back inside to Godoy – who immediately looses possession and concedes it back to Nagguez.
21′ Neither side are yet to seriously test the opposition keeper in attack, but Tunisia look the more threatening of the two so far. A looping cross downfield from Sassi finds Sliti on the lip of the Panama box; his touch is soft though and he puts it straight to Penedo.
19′ Tunisia win themselves a corner and whip it in from the right towards the far post; Penedo clocks the effort and stops it despite a nervous bobble.
17′ Khazri hounds after a long ball and gathers it on the left edge of the Panama box before cutting it back to Ben Youssef for the strike; he sees his shot deflect off Escobar and back into open play.
15′ Panama’s defence is holding firm for now but they are one of the leakier sides at the World Cup: they have conceded nine goals from 13 shots on target faced so far.
13′ Khazri wins a corner off Roman Torres as he cuts down the right wing with blistering pace, before seeing his attempted cross deflected. Escobar deals with the set-piece when delivered and Panama come away from their own back third with danger averted.
12′ Machado puts his trademark long throw into the Tunisian penalty area looking for Gabriel and Roman Torres. Neither get a touch and it zips out for a goal-kick.
10′ Sliti! He blasts a volley from 20 yards out off his right foot towards Penedo but the Panama keeper is left untroubled as it flies high and wide.
9′ Gabriel Torres finds himself with the ball at his feet at the lip of the Tunisian 18-yard area, yet he can’t turn to deliver a shot before losing control and tripping over himself.
7′ Sliti cuts back on himself and squares a lovely pass in from the left flank, finding Ben Youssef om the box. The forward can’t wrap his foot around it though and effectively edges it into the hands of Penedo in goal.
5′ Khazri is bundled to the ground by some robust Panama defending just outside the Tunisian box on the right wing now, yet his free-kick also skims away from any of his forwards and Ovalle clears.
4′ Godoy wins a free-kick for a foul 30 yards out on the right from the Tunisian goal, which Avila takes. His curled cross bounces in the box with no-one reaching it in time and it skips out for a goal-kick.
3′ Early pressure comes from Tunisia courtesy of Sassi, but Gomez catches an interception on the edge of his box and whips it away with the help of Godoy for Panama.
1′ We’re underway in Saransk! A side note for the goalkeeper-strapped Tunisia; it will be Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who pulls on the gloves if Mathlouthi is also injured.

The anthems are over and we’re moments away from kick-off. The referee today is Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain.
The teams are out at Mordovia Arena for the national anthems.
Tunisia have also already conceded more goals at this World Cup than they did in any of their previous four tournaments, with seven; their previous high was six conceded in 2006.
Since that aforementioned game however, Tunisia are winless in the World Cup, with four draws and nine losses to their name. Panama’s success rate is no better; in this, their first tournament, they are yet to register a point, though they did grab their first goal against England.
This will be the first ever meeting between Panama and Tunisia; in fact, it will only be the latter’s second game against a CONCACAF nation at a World Cup, having beaten Mexico 3-1 at Argentina 1978. Will the Carthage Eagles make it two from two today in Saransk?
Subs: Bassem Srarfi, Saber Khalifa, Ali Maaloul, Ahmed Khalil, Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Anice Badri, Yohan Benalouane, Mohamed Ben Amor
TUNISIA (4-3-3): Aymen Mathlouthi; Yassine Meriah, Hamdi Nagguez, Rami Bedoui, Oussama Haddadi; Ghilane Chaalali, Ellyes Skhiri, Ferjani Sassi; Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Wahbi Khazri, Naim Sliti
Subs: Blas Perez, Felipe Baloy, Alex Rodriguez, Harold Cummings, Abdiel Arroyo, Jose Calderon, Valentin Pimentel, Eric Davis, Luis Tejada
PANAMA (4-5-1): Jaime Penedo; Luis Ovalle, Adolfo Machado, Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar; Edgar Barcenas, Gabriel Gomez, Ricardo Avila, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Anibal Godoy; Gabriel Torres
As for Tunisia, they have been forced to blood their third goalkeeper in as many games as Aymen Mathlouthi is handed a start and the captaincy following injuries to Mouez Hassen and Farouk Ben Mustapha. Elsewhere, Dylan Bronn is also absent with a knee injury as manager Nabil Maaloul is left with just eight available substitutes.
Team news now and Panama make four changes to the team drubbed 6-1 by England last time out. Gabriel Torres replaces Blas Perez as the lone forward for Hernan Dario Gomez’s side while in the midfield, all-time appearance record holder Gabriel Gomez wins his 145th and likely final cap for the national side.
Neither side has been able to find a point in the tournament yet, having been handed defeats by both England and Belgium in their first two games – but with at least one of them guaranteed to take something away from this dead rubber clash, who will depart from Russia with a smile on their face?
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia as Panama and Tunisia face off in their final Group G game as both sides look to head home with something to cheer about at Mordovia Arena in Saransk.


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