Tunisia coach Jalel Kadri will have an uphill task at hand in their final Group D match against France. Kadri had earlier said that he will resign if Tunisia fails to make it to the Round of 16. With his team currently at the bottom of Group D with only one point from two matches, it is unlikely that they will go to the Round of 16.
The 50-year-old had said that it is his “personal ambition” to take the team through to the knockout round when he won the Kiri Cup back in June. After the match, Kadri had said that could quit the Tunisia job if his team fails to play knockout football in Qatar.
Will he keep his word? Only time will tell, however, speaking to the press before the match against mighty France, Kadri said that they are trying to be “realistic.”
“We’re very realistic. Nevertheless, I will pass on to the players a message of optimism and ambition, even though I know the mission is difficult,” he told reporters. “The most important thing is to know how to cope with the difficult moments in a game.”
Tunisia lost a glorious opportunity to have a better shot at going to the Round of 16 after the defeat to Australia earlier. Kadri had admitted after the match that the loss was due to tactical mistakes he made.
“We weren’t very lucky with some tactical decisions we took during the match against Australia,” he said. “Unfortunately this is football and we bear responsibility for those choices. The message I would convey to the players is that nothing is impossible and we are still alive.”
As they set out to ensure qualification by defeating the reigning World Cup champions, hopes of Tunisia making it through to the next round look bleak to say the least.
“It’s my personal ambition. If we don’t get through, I will not have succeeded in my mission, despite how tough the task is,” Kadri said before the match. “We want to make our dream come true and get through to the knockout round at the sixth time of asking.”