Hannibal celebrates as Tunisia reach AFCON quarter-finals

Manchester United youngster Hannibal’s stay at the AFCON tournament has been extended.

Tunisia upset Nigeria to record a surprise 1-0 victory to knock the Super Eagles out in the last 16.

The result was a surprise after Nigeria won all three of their group games, while Tunisia lost two of theirs, and only reached the last 16 as one of the best third placed teams.

Photo by Haykel Hmima/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hannibal was an unused substitute for the second round clash as Tunisia battled to a 1-0 win.

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The youngster instead took centre stage in the celebrations as Tunisia toasted reached the last eight.

Why isn’t Hannibal playing?

Hannibal has played in two of Tunisia’s four matches. He started one, and came on as a substitute in the other, being an unused substitute for two.

The reason he played such a prominent role in the Arab Cup tournament was because there was less competition for places. Tunisia’s squad for that tournament was largely based of African based players and youngsters like Hannibal, and now with European based players called up for the AFCON, Hannibal’s starting spot is no longer guaranteed.

What’s next for Hannibal?

Tunisia already know their quarter-final opponents, Burkina Faso. This is a game in which Tunisia will be favoured to go through.

As Hannibal is fresh after being rested against Nigeria, and Tunisia may require a more attacking approach to win, there is a good chance he is involved. The match will take place on Saturday January 29th at 7pm.

This weekend also saw the draw made for the World Cup play-offs, and Tunisia have been drawn against a tough Mali side containing Amadou Haidara and Yves Bissouma, who beat them 1-0 in this year’s AFCON group stages.

The winner of the two-legged play-offs in March will qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and Hannibal will be desperate to make it.

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