A barren draw at home against Tunisia on Sunday meant that Mauritania’s dream of a first ever qualification to the FIFA World Cup went up in smoke as they remained bottom of the pile with two rounds of matches left.
In the road to Qatar 2022, Mauritania picked their first point after three successive defeats, but it didn’t help much as the visitors benefited more, moving to 10 points on top of Group B.
The battle for a place in the final qualification round will now be between the Carthage Eagles and Equatorial Guinea who played to a 1-1 draw with Zambia earlier on to move to seven points.
Coming into the match, Mauritania were faced with a must win scenario to keep their qualification dreams alive. They had chances to score with burly forward Adama Ba having two opportunities, both which ended up in routine saves for the keeper.
Tunisia had few chances and they came close via Seifeddine Jaziri, but his shot from the edge of the box flushed just wide.
In the 35th minute, there were consecutive chances on either end. Mouhamed Soueid had a glorious chance when he faced Farouk Ben Mustapha one on one but the keeper produced a brilliant one handed save from point blank.
On the other end, the Mauritanian keeper made a good save to push Hamza Rafia’s shot onto the bar after he took a clean strike from range.
The second half was reduced to a midfield battle with chances few and far in between. The visitors came close after 77 minutes when Jaziri found shooting space from inside the box but the Mauritanian keeper made a fine save.
None of the two sides could get their scoring boots on as the hosts failed to score in the third out of four group matches.