Anis Slimane's AFCON embarrassment as Sheffield United man involved in historic defeat

Representing Tunisia at AFCON.Representing Tunisia at AFCON.
Representing Tunisia at AFCON. | Getty Images
Anis Slimane is away competing for Tunisia in the Africa Cup of Nations

Anis Slimane's 2024 Africa Cup of Nations campaign got off to the worst start possible this week as his Tunisia side were stunned by tournament minnows Namibia. Slimane has been in and out of the Sheffield United side this season after struggling to nail down a regular spot since his summer move from Brondby.

But, his lack of club game time hasn't hampered his international standing and the midfielder started in the middle of the park on Tuesday as Tunisia took on Namibia, who were considered huge underdogs in the tie having historically failed to win a game at AFCON prior to the clash. The Namibians saw to that record in their Group E opener, though, as an 89th minute header from Deon Hotto gave them a 1-0 win and all three points.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tunisia, who are still considered outsiders to win the tournament in Ivory Coast, struggled to get going in the game and are now at risk of an embarrassing early exit from the competition. The 2019 semi-finalists take on Mali, who saw off South Africa in their opener, on Saturday in their next group stage game and they'll hope to breathe life into their hopes of progression before their showdown with South Africa in Korhogo.

Slimane will hope to keep his place in the starting line-up, of course, and he'll be keen to make more of an impact in the side. Of course, if Tunisia were to be knocked out of the competition, it would mean a premature return to Sheffield for Slimane, potentially in time to feature in the club's FA Cup fourth round tie against Brighton and Hove Albion.

It's been a tournament of shocks so far and Tunisia aren't the only ones to fall to a surprise defeat in their opener. Ghana were beaten 2-1 by Cape Verde over the weekend, while Egypt have been held to a draw by Mozambique and Nigeria could only claim a point against Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile, Yasser Larouci's Algeria drew 1-1 with Angola in their opener with the United man remaining an unused substitute.

Former Blade Iliman Ndiaye is also at the tournament and he came on as a sub for Senegal as they saw off Gambia 3-0 on Monday.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.