In the waning seconds of stoppage time, Tunisia hung on to claim a surprising victory after France had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR.
Despite their victory, they were unable to advance to the World Cup’s round of 16.
Substituted at the Education City Stadium, Antoine Griezmann volleyed in a thrilling equaliser, but the VAR decision meant Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazi’s outstanding first-half goal proved to be the victor.
However, before Griezmann’s goal was overturned, Australia had already defeated Denmark 1-0 in the other Group D encounter, ending Tunisia’s chances.
“It’s mixed feelings because we’re happy to beat a team like France,” said Tunisia manager Jalel Kadri.
“We can be proud and leave with our head high, but it is a bitter victory.
“It would have been beautiful to beat France and reach the last 16. It is our fault for not doing what we needed to do before.”
France advanced to the round of 16 as the group champion after defeating Denmark in their previous match to guarantee qualification.
Khazi, the captain of Tunisia, drove to the edge of the box and calmly rolled it into the bottom right corner to give fans what they had been waiting for: a goal at this World Cup.
A sizable crowd of Tunisia supporters at the stadium broke out in tears when Tunisian substitutes ran onto the field in a moment of unbridled joy.
However, their joy was short-lived as fans checked their phones for updates from the other Group D games as word of Australia’s advantage spread throughout the stadium.
France put forth a lacklustre display despite having already qualified as group winners thanks to their 2-1 victory over Denmark.
Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe were introduced midway in the second half in an effort to get back into the game.
Despite the Tunisia fans’ loud jeers and whistling intended to scare them away, they had an impact, as Griezmann came close to scoring the goal they so desperately wanted.
On Sunday, December 4, possibly Argentina, the runner-up in Group C, will be the opponent for Didier Deschamps’ team in the round of 16.As they leave the tournament, Tunisia’s wait to make it to the World Cup’s knockout rounds for the first time continues.