Tunisia, Turkey draw in friendly

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Geneva, June 2 (IANS) Turkey and Tunisia battled to a 2-2 draw in an international friendly as the North African side continue their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where they are drawn in Group G along with Belgium, England and Panama.

After a scoreless first half in front of roughly 12,000 fans at the Stade de Geneve here on Friday evening, Everton’s Cenk Tosun put Turkey up 1-0 with a goal in the 54th minute from the penalty spot after drawing a foul from Tunisia midfielder Ellyes Shkiri, reports EFE news agency.

Anice Badri brought Tunisia level two minutes later with a half-volley from distance.

The match took a bizarre turn just before the hour mark, when Tosun, seeing a flare land near where his father and uncle were seated in the stands, walked toward the crowd, shouting and gesturing at unruly fans to pick up a straight red card to leave his team a man down with 30 minutes left to play.

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Despite the man advantage, the Tunisians remained less than convincing on the attack and the second goal came only in the 79th minute, courtesy of team captain Ferjana Sassi. while a poor defensive clearance in stoppage time allowed Caglar Söyüncü to score a late equalizer for the Turks.

Tunisia will face Spain, one of the favorites to win the 2018 World Cup, on June 9 in the final friendly for both teams before heading to Russia.

The North African squad’s World Cup opener is a June 18 clash with England in Volgograd.

–IANS

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