Tunisians aim to leave friendly disappointment behind them and open tournament with victory

The Carthage Eagles kick off their tournament against The Copper Bullets of Zambia on Wednesday 13th January 2010. Tunisia go into the game off the back of an uninspiring friendly defeat against Gambia in Tunis.

It was the only game of Faouzi Benzarti’s tournament warm-up but the match didn’t go according to plans. The home side dominated the majority of the match but couldn’t break the deadlock, and the visitors took advantage of this to open the score in the 57th minute when Cherno Samba scored. In the 85th minute their lead was doubled much to the frustration of the home crowd; and it wasn’t until the 94th minute that they had something to cheer about. Zouheir Dhaoudi crossed for Amine Chermiti who calmly stroked the ball home.

Amine Chermiti scored only goal against Gambia

Their opponents Zambia fared much better in their final warm-up match, they beat World Cup finalists South Korea 4-2 in a friendly in Johannesburg.

The two sides last met in this tournament in 2006 when Tunisia came out 4-1 winners and the Carthage Eagles haven’t lost to the Zambians since 1989 so will be confident of starting the tournament with a victory.

The match will be played at the Estádio Nossa Senhora do Monte stadium in Lubango. The ground is set 1,761m above sea level and further inland than the other venues.

With three days to go until the match coach Benzarti has lots to think about, he needs to get his side focussed on converting possession into goals whilst not forgetting to maintain their defensive concentration.

The Tunisians go into the match as favourites and they should have enough quality to see off the Zambians. They will, however, need to be wary of the Copper Bullets whose confidence will be sky high following their victory over South Korea.

Prediction: Zambia 1-3 Tunisia

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