Tunisia boss Nabil Maaloul was pleased to end their campaign on a high note by sealing their first win in a World Cup game in 40 years with a 2-1 win over Panama
The North African side fell a goal down in the first-half when Jose Luis Rodriguez’s shot deflected in off midfielder Yassine Meriah.
But Tunisia, who enjoyed 69% of the possession and had 14 chances, were awarded for their patience when Fakhreddine Ben Youssef equalised by tapping in Wahbi Khazri’s low ball.
The Eagles of Carthage then secured the win when Khazri scored thanks to Oussama Haddadi’s cross.
Speaking after the game, Maaloul conceded that Tunisia are not at the required level yet to compete and called for more of his players to play in professional leagues in order to improve.
“We have four Arab teams that are not yet at the required level for the tournament, they still have to work harder and improve their performances. In order to do that, we need to have more of our players in professional leagues so they can learn and grow,” said the Tunisian, according to Marca.
But Maaloul was proud of his fellow African sides Senegal and Nigeria.
“Senegal and Nigeria displayed a great level of quality amongst their players even though they did not make it out of the group stage. Today we won our match and deserved the victory, but I believe the performances of Nigeria and Senegal were better than ours” he said.
The 56-year-old feels that his players can be proud of themselves for everything they achieved in Russia.
“In the second match we should have been better but I think the performance against England was excellent,” he continued.
“We had a very strong defense and played well amongst some of the best players in the world. Against Belgium, we could have defended better but the team went in with confidence and performed well in all three games.”
Tunisia ends their World Cup campaign with a third-place finish in Group G with three points.