Tunisia became the latest side to crash out of the World Cup after they were comfortably beaten by Belgium. Manager Nabil Maaloul was full of praise for the fans and his team though, and rightfully, so as they gave a good credit of themselves against arguably the most impressive side in the tournament so far.
Maaloul apologised to the travelling fans who he said were in excellent voice after Tunisia’s early exit but he insisted his side did the best they could against Belgium.
“We would like to apologise to the Tunisian fans who were numerous in the stadium today - however, we did our best.” Maaloul told the BBC.
It was always likely to be a difficult task for the Eagles of Carthage after they were drawn in a group with England and Belgium, and the manager made no secret of that admitting the group favourites got the better of them.
"Ever since we were drawn into this group we knew Belgium were going to be a tough opponent. As expected, it was a very difficult match.” He continued.
Tunisia fought valiantly even after the game began to get away from them, after going 2-0 down early on, they didn’t duck their heads and reduced the deficit to just 2-1 inside the first 20 minutes.
With two of their defenders stretchered off in the first half, the Belgium pressure began to tell as they added a third, fourth and fifth goal to wrap up a resounding victory for them.
Tunisia maintained their character and pride with a late consolation and Maaloul hopes this will just be the start for his national team who reached an all-time high of 14th place in the FIFA World Rankings earlier this year.
Maaloul vowed to come back stronger finishing by saying: “We will try to improve our performance in the future."