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20.11.2008 Sports News

Tunisian Eagles hold unimpressive Stars


The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia gave Ghana's Black Stars coach, Milovan Rajevac some lessons to worry about in respect to building a formidable team after they held the Stars to a barren draw in an international friendly match on Wednesday.

The Tunisian team bereft of some key players including veteran defender Radhi Jaidi and Brazilian-born striker Francileudo Dos Santos virtually outplayed the Stars, whose performance was ordinary with a total break down of the midfield.

The performance of the Stars fell below the expectations of the almost 30,000 crowd that thronged the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra with many of them compelled to rethink about the team's chances for the next Mundial.

The Stars begin their campaign for the next round of the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations against Benin next March, but their output on the day meant there is more to be done to revive the supporters hope and aspirations of the team.

The youthful Tunisian side, which had veteran striker Ali Zitouni as the only member above 25 years, took control of the game from the onset while their hosts laboured in search of their feet.

The Stars midfield which revolved around Heart of Lions' Daniel Yeboah, debutant Samuel Kyere and captain Stephen Appiah was almost non-existent and made the absence of Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari a telling story.

The trio failed to play as a unit and for Kyere, he was more of a passenger and could hardly hold onto the ball for most of the time.

Throughout the first half, the hosts could only boast of Matthew Amoah's effort in the 41st minute which the Tunisian goalie Hamdi Kasraoui responded positively as their only attempt at goal.

Earlier in the game the cross bar had denied Tunisian Ben Yahia to find the opener on seventh minute.

Stars Coach Milo brought on Haminu Dramani and Manuel Junior Agogo for Kyere and Prince Tagoe while Tunisia coach Humberto Coelho introduced Mejdi Traoui, Issam Jomaa, Mohamed Sellimi and Mohamed Ali Nafkha for Belaid Tijani, Saihi Jamel, Allagui Sami and Anis Boussaidi for the second half.

All along it was the Tunisians' who appeared effective as they kept the pressure on the Stars, bringing the best out of Jonathan Quartey and Eric Addo on several occasions.

In the 56th minute, the North Africans were gifted with a fine opportunity to take the lead but substitute Sellimi's connection from Jomaa's cross from the left flank went wide with Stars goalie Richard Kingston completely beaten.

Eleven minutes later, right-back John Pantsil was to come to the rescue of the Stars as he scooped off Jomaa's goal-bound strike from the goal line, after Jomaa had beaten onrushing Kingston, who was rarely tested after the Tunisian was put through by Mejdi.

The Tunisians had the better of the exchanges till Togolese referee Djaoupe Kokou brought proceedings to an end.

Line Up:

Ghana – Richard Kingston, John Paintsil, Hans Adu Sarpei/Samuel Inkoom, Jonathan Quartey, Eric Addo, Daniel Yeboah, Samuel Kyere/Haminu Dramani, Prince Tagoe/Manuel Junior Agogo, Mathew Amoah/Samuel Yeboah, Andre Dede Ayew/Quincy Owusu-Abeyie

Tunisia – Hamdi Kasraoui, Ghezel Seif, Ifa Bilal, Anis Bouusaidi, Benzerki Aymen, Ragued Houcine, Saihi Jamel, Belaid Tijiani/Traoui Mejdi, Ben Yahia Wissem, Allagui Sami/Mohamed Sellimi, Ali Zitouni/.Mohamed Sellimi/Zairi Khaled