Manchester United star Raphael Varane led France in the absence of Hugo Lloris, as the defending champions lost 1-0 to Tunisia in an intense match at the World Cup today.
France, who have already qualified for the knockout stage, saw nine changes made to their side by head coach Didier Deschamps.
Star players such as Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Hugo Lloris started the game from the bench.
The tense encounter saw Tunisia take the lead in the 58th minute. The defending champions misfired for most of the game before getting a stranglehold in the latter stages of the second half.
However, this was not enough, as Griezmann’s injury-time goal was ruled out by VAR and referee Matthew Conger. Tunisia took home the win as the nation’s faithful erupted in joy.
Despite failing to keep a clean sheet, Varane put in a gutsy performance. He had 93 percent passing accuracy and made three clearances.
The United star was also steady in maintaining the backline as Tunisia looked to force the issue in the first half.
The former Real Madrid star was also instrumental in keeping the game to only a 1-0 scoreline in a match that saw Tunisia take the game to the defending champions.
Varane had 50 touches in the contest and completed four out of seven attempted long balls. The Champions League-winning defender was also key to preventing any counter-attacks from Tunisia in the final stages of the game.
Ahead of the final round of fixtures, Group D was poised to see a dramatic finish. The only way Tunisia would go through was if Australia and Denmark played out a draw and they won their match against France.
However, the scenario did not go according to plan for Hannibal Mejbri and his teammates as Australia won their game against Denmark.
The loss means both Tunisia and Denmark bow out of the World Cup. Christian Eriksen and co have been poor in Qatar, securing just one point in their three games.
It remains to be seen who France will face in the round of 16.
Stats courtesy FIFA and SofaScore.
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