Africa Cup of Nations: Tunisia beat World Cup finalists Croatia in warm-up game

Tunisia v Croatia
Tunisia's players celebrate after their 2-1 victory over the World Cup finalists Croatia on Tuesday

Tunisia warmed up for this month's Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 win over the World Cup runners-up Croatia in a friendly international in Varazdin on Tuesday night.

Goals from Anice Badri and Naim Sliti helped the Carthage Eagles secure victory as they prepare for Egypt 2019 which kicks off on 21 June.

Despite facing an under-strength Croatia who fielded several debutants and rested both Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic, this was a morale-boosting result for the north Africans.

Tunisia made an early breakthrough when Anice Badri, from African champions Esperance, scored on 16 minutes.

Bruno Petkovic levelled two minutes into the second half and Sliti netted from a 70th-minute spot-kick to secure the victory.

Tunisia, whose lone Cup of Nations title came in 2004 when they were hosts, are in Group E with Angola, Mali and debutants Mauritania.

After the Croatia victory, Tunisia coach Alain Giresse named his final 23-man squad for the Nations Cup with both Badri and Sliti named on the list, as expected.

Al Ahly left-back Ali Maaloul was surprisingly left out in favour of 33-year-old Etoile du Sahel Midfielder Karim Aouadhi.

Maaloul was not the only last-minute omission with striker Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and defender Nader Ghandri both dropped after the previous friendly against Iraq.

Burundi, who will be competing at the Cup of Nations for the first time, came from behind to draw 1-1 with former champions Algeria in another friendly international in Doha on Tuesday.

Both goals came in the second half with Baghdad Bounedjah, scorer of 39 goals for his Qatari club last season, putting Algeria ahead and goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi conceding an own-goal.

Stephane Sessegnon scored direct from a free-kick during the opening half to earn Benin a 1-0 win over fellow qualifiers Guinea in their warm-up game in the Moroccan city Marrakech.

Tunisia squad:

Goalkeepers: Moez Ben Chrifia (ES Tunis, Tunisia), Moez Hassen (OGC Nice, France), Farouk Ben Mustapha (Al Shabab, KSA)

Defenders: Nassim Hnid (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Yassine Meriah (Olympiakos, Greece), Dylan Bronn (La Gantoise, Belgium), Mohamed Drager (SC Paderborn, Germany), Wajdi Kechrida (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Rami Bedoui (Al Feiha, Saudi Arabia), Ayman Ben Mohamed (Esperance, Tunisia), Oussema Haddadi (Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia)

Midfielders: Ferjani Sassi (Zamalek, Egypt), Karim Aouadhi (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Ellyes Skhiri (Montpellier, France), Ghaylen Chaalali (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Mark Lamti (Bayer Leverkusen), Youssef Msakni (KAS Eupen, Belgium)

Attackers: Bassem Srarfi (Nice, France), Anice Badri (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Wahbi Khazri (Saint Etienne, France), Yassine Khenissi (Esperance, Tunisia), Firas Chaouat (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia), Naim Sliti (Dijon, France)

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