'It was like the Champions League final!'

Thursday 16 December 2021 11:59

Hannibal has described the incredible atmosphere in Doha as Tunisia celebrated reaching the Arab Cup final with a dramatic win over Egypt.

With the last-four tie deadlocked at 0-0 until the last seconds of injury time, Egypt skipper Amr Al-Sulaya headed a Naim Sliti free-kick into his own net to decide a tight affair.

Hannibal was withdrawn with nine minutes of normal time left but won the official Man-of-the-Match award for an impressive display in midfield.

Playing in such a setting will provide more valuable experience for the 18-year-old, who is likely to start in the final at the weekend.

Hannibal's Tunisia reach Arab Cup final


There was late drama in Qatar as our young midfielder impressed in a big game.

"Crazy," he told Al Kass Sports Channel after the game. "I would like to thank the fans as the atmosphere was crazy. It was, I don't know, like we were playing the Champions League final.

"I would like to thank everyone, to our country, to all our players who helped us go to the final; thanks to Yassine Meriah, today he got an injury but I hope he comes back stronger.

"This is my first competition with the national team and this is 18 years of work. I give everything every day, every game. Even if I play keeper, I will give everything. Today is a nice day for me and all of Tunisia."

When it was suggested the Premier League may have a new star soon, he answered modestly: "I'm not a star for the moment but I will work on it."

Algeria will provide the opposition in Saturday's final at the Al Bayt Stadium after beating hosts Qatar 2-1.

There was more late drama as Mohammed Muntari equalised Benlamri Djamel's strike for Algeria with 97 minutes on the clock. Some 17 minutes into injury time, Mohammed Belaili converted the rebound after his penalty was saved by Qatar keeper Saad Alsheeb, to send Algeria through.