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Afcon 2021: Tunisia lose captain Al-Khazri and six more to Covid-19 ahead of Gambia clash

1:15 PM GMT+4 19/01/2022
Wahbi Khazri of Tunisia celebrates goal during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Eagles of Carthage have suffered another blow as seven more players tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their final group fixture

Tunisia’s chances of reaching the Round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations have suffered a huge blow after seven more players tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their final Group F clash against the Gambia on Thursday.

The Eagles of Carthage were forced to miss six players during their second group game against Mauritania which they won 4-0 and ahead of their final group phase game, they have confirmed seven new Covid-19 cases among them captain Wahbi Al-Khazri.

“In the framework of the round tests to prevent coronavirus infections conducted by Caf, the tests conducted on Tuesday revealed the infection of Ali Maaloul, Ayman Dahman and Gilan Al Shaal Me and Muhammad Ali bin Ramadan, Wahbi Al-Khazri, Ali Al-Jamal, and Muhammad Amin bin Hamidah are infected with Covid-19, and they have been isolated from the group,” Tunisia confirmed on their social media pages.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Drager, who was among the six players to have tested positive before they took on Al-Murabitun, has recovered from the setback.

“On the contrary, the tests have confirmed the recovery of Mohamed Drager, among the six players who have recently been infected with the coronavirus and are undergoing a period of time health check-up and round-up rapid tests,” the statement continued.

Apart from Drager, the other players down with Covid-19 include Osama Al-Hadadi, Naim Al-Seliti, Johan Touzghar, Asam Al-Jabali, and Dylan Bronn.

The Eagles of Carthage started their campaign in the Cameroon edition with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Mali before they recovered to hammer Mauritania 4-0.

It was captain Al-Khazri, who grabbed a brace in the game at Limbe Stadium with the other two goals also coming from Hamza Mathlouthi.

After the win against Mauritania, Tunisia coach Mondher Kebaier said they will correct their mistakes in readiness for the game against the Gambia.

“The first match was laborious; we expected a feeling of revolt. It was necessary to make a reaction of men, of honour,” Kebaier said as quoted by CafOnline.

“We started the match well; the players were determined to continue at the same pace. We must have this hatred of defeat, vary our game, and correct the transmissions to try to beat the Gambia in the next match.”

Tunisia are third in the group with three points while the Gambia are top on four and Mali also have four points but are placed in second position.