Denmark vs Tunisia a tense, industrious, scoreless draw

The 2022 World Cup’s early run of unexpected results continued with Denmark’s scoreless draw against Tunisia in Al Rayyan on Tuesday.

The draw itself wouldn’t have been so surprising were it not for the relatively punchless attack of Denmark and the fact that Tunisia might’ve been better money for the win over 90 minutes.

WATCH DENMARK vs TUNISIA FULL MATCH REPLAY

Tunisian midfielder Aissa Laidouni made an early claim to be breakout player of the tournament with a dominant performance in the center of the park before departing in the 87th minute.

Kasper Schmeichel’s 43rd-minute save was the closest the game came to a goal. Denmark’s 61% possession total tells one story of the match but a 13-12 shots advantage to Tunisia somewhat colors that, and the fact that shots were 13-9 until a late Denmark surge fills in the rest.

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Denmark moves onto reigning champions France at 11am ET Saturday, six hours after Tunisia tangles with Australia. The French and Socceroos begin their tournaments at 2pm ET Tuesday in Al Wakrah.

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Danish finishers go missing but Schmeichel, backs stand firm

Kasper Dolberg and Andreas Skov Olsen managed a combined 56 touches atop Denmark’s attack, both leaving the pitch in the 65th minute for Andreas Cornelius and Jesper Lindstrom.

Part of this was down to some struggles to find them but a lot was about Tunisia’s midfield disruptors.

Aissa Laidouni and Ellyes Skhiri held down the middle of the park in surprising fashion given Denmark’s crew of workers including Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Christian Eriksen, and Thomas Delaney. Mathias Jensen replaced an injured Delaney but did not change the overall tone and tenor of the contest.

Fortunately for Denmark, it’s back were remarkably strong. Captain Simon Kjaer was flanked by familiar Premier League names Andreas Christensen and Joachim Andersen, but the real star of the show for the Danes was Leeds’ Rasmus Kristensen, who picked up a yellow card but was effective both pushing the ball forward and stopping Tunisia’s left side.

Then there’s Kasper Schmeichel’s solid save on Issam Jebali. Would a smashed finish have better served Jebali here? The world will never know.

Stars of the show

Aissa Laidouni

Rasmus Kristensen

Kasper Schmeichel

Denmark vs Tunisia
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How to watch Denmark vs Tunisia live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8am ET, Tuesday
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

Christian Eriksen joins Danish captain Simon Kjaer as centurions, and Denmark has a load of players very much in their prime. Tottenham’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will help drive the midfield in a tantalizing group that includes Eriksen, Mathias Jensen, Christian Norgaard, and Thomas Delaney.

Tunisia boasts recent-enough wins over Egypt, Japan, and Nigeria, and handled Iran 2-0 a few days ago. There are veterans up-and-down the squad but the midfield is a younger bunch and will have to face Denmark’s strength. As for the youth: Can 19-year-old Hannibal Mejbri be a breakout star of the tournament, or might it be Brondby’s Anis Ben Slimane? Look for 25-year-old Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros) to make his presence felt early and often.

Denmark quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 10
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group F)
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand
Key players: Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer, Christian Eriksen

Tunisia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 30
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified via CAF playoffs (Beat Mali)
Coach: Jalel Kadri
Key players: Ferjani Sassi, Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni

Denmark vs Tunisia a tense, industrious, scoreless draw originally appeared on NBCSports.com