Lucidity, audacity, efficiency and above all a big dose of talent, that is the recipe for Tunisian success.
And Samir Landolsi’s girls showed all those qualities in abundance as they beat tournament debutants Togo 4-1 in their TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2022 opener last night.
It took just 15 seconds for Tunisia to open the scoring by Tunisia’s rising star Meriem Houij, who was elected Woman of the Match.
“I just thought I would score and make my country and my team happy, it was essential,” Houji said at the post-match press conference.
It was all-action stuff and in the twelfth minute it was Sabrine Ellouzi who doubled the Tunisians’ advantage as all seemed too easy for the Carthage Eagles.
But a proud Togo side overcame the initial nerves of playing in their very first WAFCON fixture and started forcing their way back into the game.
And in the 22nd minute Togo were awarded a penalty, with captain Odette Gnintegma taking on the responsibilities and tucking away her penalty neatly to become Togo’s first scorer in the history of this competition.
It was 2-1 in an entertaining first half at the break.
As they emerged from the locker room, the Tunisian women showed another side of their game as they reasserted their ascendancy by effectively using Samia Ouni and Ghada Ayadi in creative, attacking roles.
This led to the Tunisians controlling the game, with the Togolese women having no answer to the North Africans’ onslaught and unable to create any opportunities to get back into the game. The West Africans’ woes were compounded as their defender Omolatcho Djankale received a red card for dangerous play to reduce Togo to 10 players.
It was a situation that severely handicapped Togo and with their numerical superiority, Tunisia took advantage and scored two more second half goals.
Ellouzi added a second of the match and an Amouklou Ame own goal added insult to injury for the hapless Togolese.