By Akinwale Kasali

Moustafa Msakni 49th minutes strike was all the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia team needed to defeat and send one of the African Cup of Nations favourites, Super Eagles of Nigeria out of the tournament.

It came as a surprise to millions of Soccer fans that COVID-19 threatened Tunisia team would defeat the highly rated Nigeria team who got to the Round of 16 with a 100 percent record against a Tunisian team that qualified as one of the Third Best placed team.

Interim Coach Augustine Eguavoen started the game with his usual first eleven with same set of players that prosecuted the Group matches between the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Falcons of Sudan.

The Super Eagles showed some flashes in the opening stages of the match but did not result to any positive end as the Tunisians curtailed the Super Eagles attack line of Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon and Taiwo Awoniyi.

The Tunisians were compact in the defense, ending the first half on a good note.

As the Second Half commenced, Tunisia got the early goal with a superb strike outside the 18 yard box after outwitting the Super Eagles defense, beating Maduka Okoye in goal to get the deserved lead.

Unfortunately, Eguavoen brought in Alex Iwobi to replace Iheanacho, while Peter Olayinka replaced Awoniyi, with the sub not leading to the deserve result, rather, a mistimed tackle by Iwobi on a Tunisian scorer resulted to a Red Card for Iwobi, compounding the woes of Nigeria.

The Red card to Iwobi changed the dynamics of the game, with Tunisia gaining more confidence, keeping possession of the ball.

The Super Eagles almost got the equalizer by Goalkeeper Ben Said of Tunisia made a crucial save to deny Simon a goal.

Another half chance came begging for the Three Time AFCON champion through Sadiq Umar, but he fired wide, as the Tunisia kept the Super Eagles at bay till the final whistle was blown, shattering the hope of the Nigeria team.

With the victory, the Carthage Eagles will face the Stallion of Burkina Faso in the Quarterfinals, following the Burkinabes defeat of The Panthers of Gabon 8-7 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time.