Tunisia came from behind to secure a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Portugal in an international friendly clash at the Estadio Municipal Braga on Monday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The visitors showed their intent early on and nearly took the lead when Saif-Eddine Khaoui unleashed a strike from inside the area, but his effort sailed wide of the target.
At the other end, Portugal had a chance of their own in the 11th minute after Andre Silva latched on to a cross by Ricardo Pereira before guiding his headed effort wide of the goal.
Silva redeemed himself in the 22nd minute when his header found the back of the net after being set up by Ricardo Quaresma’s cross.
The home side then doubled their lead after 34 minutes as Joao Mario’s fierce strike from outside the box found the top left corner to make it 2-0 in favour of Portugal.
However, Tunisia pulled a goal back three minutes later when Sliti played Anice Badri through on goal before calmly slotting the ball home from inside the penalty area, 2-1.
Quaresma should’ve extended his side’s lead three minutes before the break, but the wing blazed his free kick over the crossbar from a tight angle.
The game went into the half-time interval with the scoreline at 2-1 in favour of Portugal.
Portugal nearly made it 3-1 in the 55th minute when Bernardo Silva found space on the edge of the box before striking a low effort at goal only to rattle the post with Mouez Hassen brilliantly denying Mario on the rebound.
The home side thought they found the back of the net seven minutes later after William Carvalho met Quaresma’s inviting free kick into the six-yard box, but the assistant referee flagged the midfielder for being offside.
Tunisia then levelled matters in the 64th minute when Anthony Lopes punched away a Tunisia free kick, but the ball found its way back to Maaloul, who curled his effort into the middle where Ben Youssef tucked it home with a sliding finish.
The Portuguese side looked to have lost their momentum as the game went on with the Tunisians looking the better of the two sides.
Hassen came to his side’s rescue with four minutes left to play when he made a fine save to keep out Manuel Fernandes’ curling free kick from the right side of the box.
However, both sides pressed forward in the closing stages of the game but were unable to find the winning goal as the game ended 2-2 at the Estadio Municipal Braga.
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