Tunisia had to settle for a point in their Africa Cup of Nations opener after Cape Verde deservedly came from behind to draw in Group B.

Cape Verde defender Fernando Varela headed against the post early on.

Kuca's shot was then cleared off the line by Tunisia's Syam Ben Youssef before Yassine Chikhaoui headed against the bar for the North Africans.

Mohamed Ali Moncer slid in the opener but Heldon levelled from the penalty spot for the Islanders.

The draw - a third 1-1 in four matches so far - sees all four teams level in group B after Crystal Palace's Yannick Bolasie earned DR Congo a draw against Zambia earlier in the day.

Tunisia, making their 12th consecutive appearance at the Cup of Nations, lost key forwards Saber Khalifa and Fakhreddine Ben Youssef to injury before the tournament started.

Tunisias coach Georges Leekens is the second Belgian boss in the tournament

The withdrawals contributed to a difficult week which also saw them endure problems with their accommodation  in Equatorial Guinea, and they struggled to create much in a scrappy first half.

Rui Aguas, the Portuguese coach of Cape Verde, said the Blue Sharks are determined to match their run to the quarter-finals in South Africa two years ago - on their Afcon debut - and they were the brighter of the two sides in a half of few chances.

Fernando Varela headed against the post in the opening minutes and his side were certain they should have been awarded a penalty when striker Heldon was tripped by Ali Maaloul, but a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area was awarded.

Played at the 5,000 capacity Ebebeyin Stadium - a new ground carved out of the dense jungle in the far north-eastern corner of Equatorial Guinea - Cape Verde continued to have the better chances after the break, with Kuca's effort off the line by Ben Youssef.

Buoyed by that let off, Tunisia finally started to push as Chikhaoui headed against the bar, but the referee then blew his whistle for a push as the loose ball was bundled into the net.

The pressure told though as Moncer slotted Ali Maaloul's low cross into the top corner at the far post.

But, just seven minutes later, Sporting Lisbon's Heldon levelled from the spot after being felled by Ben Youssef.

Tunisia

Tunisia are unbeaten in their last eight Afcon openers

Ebebeyin Stadium

The Ebebeyin Stadium has a capacity of just 5,000, and is surrounded by dense jungle

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Tunisia

  • 16 Mathlouthi
  • 17 Mathlouthi
  • 02 Ben Youssef
  • 03 Abdennour
  • 12 Maâloul
  • 14 Nater
  • 21 Saihi (Ragued - 87' )
  • 15 Ali Moncer
  • 09 Chikhaoui
  • 18 Khazri Booked (Msakni - 82' )
  • 19 Akaichi (Rjaibi - 82' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Ben Mustapha
  • 04 Mohsni
  • 05 Bedoui
  • 06 Ragued
  • 07 Msakni
  • 08 Rjaibi
  • 10 Younes
  • 11 Chermiti
  • 13 Sassi
  • 20 Yaacoubi
  • 22 Ben Cherifia
  • 23 Ben Djemia

Cape Verde Islands

  • 01 Vozinha
  • 23 Soares Tavares (Mendes da Graça - 75' )
  • 14 Estaline Dias Barros
  • 03 Varela
  • 02 Dos Santos Tavares
  • 15 Monteiro
  • 17 Lima
  • 05 Monteiro Macedo Babanco
  • 10 Almeida Ramos
  • 21 Tavares Semedo (Tavares - 68' )
  • 09 Alves Miranda (Fortes - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 04 Silveira da Graca
  • 06 Monteiro Semedo
  • 07 Fortes
  • 08 Varela Monteiro
  • 11 Mendes Rodrigues
  • 12 Sousa
  • 13 Almada Soares
  • 16 Cruz
  • 18 Freitas Santos
  • 19 Tavares
  • 20 Mendes da Graça
  • 22 Fortes
Ref: Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane

Match Stats

Possession

53 47

Shots

14 8

On target

4 4

Corners

3 3

Fouls

28 20

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Tunisia 1, Cape Verde Islands 1.

90:00 +3:45 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Tunisia 1, Cape Verde Islands 1.

90:00 +3:39

Attempt missed. Edam Rjaibi (Tunisia) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ali Maâloul following a set piece situation.

90:00 +2:39

Youssef Msakni (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:39

Foul by Fernando Varela (Cape Verde Islands).

90:00 +1:21

Attempt missed. Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Hamza Mathlouthi.

89:31

Attempt missed. Stéphane Nater (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Mohamed Ali Moncer.

88:47

Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:47

Foul by Babanco (Cape Verde Islands).

88:03

Offside, Tunisia. Mohamed Ali Moncer tries a through ball, but Youssef Msakni is caught offside.

87:46

Hocine Ragued (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:46

Foul by Stopira (Cape Verde Islands).

86:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tunisia. Hocine Ragued replaces Jamel Saihi.

86:10

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

86:10

Odaïr Fortes (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:00

Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:00

Foul by Stopira (Cape Verde Islands).

83:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cape Verde Islands. Odaïr Fortes replaces Kuca.

83:19

Jamel Saihi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:19

Foul by Héldon (Cape Verde Islands).

82:34

Hand ball by Ryan Mendes (Cape Verde Islands).

81:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tunisia. Edam Rjaibi replaces Ahmed Akaichi.

81:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Tunisia. Youssef Msakni replaces Wahbi Khazri.

80:56

Offside, Tunisia. Ali Maâloul tries a through ball, but Aymen Abdennour is caught offside.

79:52

Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

79:52

Foul by Babanco (Cape Verde Islands).

79:14

Foul by Stéphane Nater (Tunisia).

79:14

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

78:43

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

78:43

Stopira (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tunisia 1, Cape Verde Islands 1. Héldon (Cape Verde Islands) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

75:58

Penalty conceded by Syam Ben Youssef (Tunisia) after a foul in the penalty area.

75:58

Penalty Cape Verde Islands. Héldon draws a foul in the penalty area.

75:31

Foul by Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia).

75:31

Héldon (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

75:14

Offside, Tunisia. Syam Ben Youssef tries a through ball, but Ahmed Akaichi is caught offside.

74:01 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cape Verde Islands. Ryan Mendes replaces Carlitos.

72:55

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

72:55

Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

72:00

Delay in match Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia) because of an injury.

70:35

Foul by Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia).

70:35

Héldon (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

69:20 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Tunisia 1, Cape Verde Islands 0. Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the top right corner. Assisted by Ali Maâloul.

67:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cape Verde Islands. Júlio Tavares replaces Djaniny.

66:24

Attempt saved. Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Wahbi Khazri.

65:26

Hand ball by Héldon (Cape Verde Islands).

64:52

Corner, Tunisia. Conceded by Gegé.

64:35

Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

64:35

Foul by Babanco (Cape Verde Islands).

62:53

Foul by Syam Ben Youssef (Tunisia).

62:53

Josimar Vozinha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:50

Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia) hits the bar with a header from the centre of the box. Assisted by Mohamed Ali Moncer with a cross following a set piece situation.

62:24

Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

62:24

Foul by Stopira (Cape Verde Islands).

62:03

Jamel Saihi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:03

Dangerous play by Djaniny (Cape Verde Islands).

59:37

Foul by Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia).

59:37

Carlitos (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:09

Hand ball by Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia).

56:57

Attempt missed. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

55:48

Ahmed Akaichi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:48

Foul by Gegé (Cape Verde Islands).

55:21

Attempt blocked. Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Héldon.

52:36

Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

52:36

Josimar Vozinha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:32

Attempt saved. Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mohamed Ali Moncer.

52:00

Corner, Tunisia. Conceded by Fernando Varela.

50:26

Attempt missed. Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Wahbi Khazri.

50:09

Attempt blocked. Héldon (Cape Verde Islands) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Djaniny.

49:45

Offside, Tunisia. Ali Maâloul tries a through ball, but Ahmed Akaichi is caught offside.

48:50

Foul by Jamel Saihi (Tunisia).

48:50

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:19

Foul by Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia).

46:19

Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:42

Corner, Cape Verde Islands. Conceded by Aymen Abdennour.

45:17

Corner, Cape Verde Islands. Conceded by Mohamed Ali Moncer.

45:00

Second Half begins Tunisia 0, Cape Verde Islands 0.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Tunisia 0, Cape Verde Islands 0.

45:00 +0:53

Stéphane Nater (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00 +0:53

Foul by Babanco (Cape Verde Islands).

44:18

Jamel Saihi (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:18

Foul by Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands).

42:05

Foul by Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia).

42:05

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

40:11

Foul by Ahmed Akaichi (Tunisia).

40:11

Gegé (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:23

Attempt missed. Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

39:15

Attempt blocked. Babanco (Cape Verde Islands) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

37:23

Foul by Ali Maâloul (Tunisia).

37:23

Héldon (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

36:06

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

36:06

Gegé (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:26

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:26

Foul by Carlitos (Cape Verde Islands).

33:27

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33:27

Foul by Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia).

33:11

Dangerous play by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

33:11

Calú (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

32:10

Foul by Ahmed Akaichi (Tunisia).

32:10

Fernando Varela (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:14

Foul by Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia).

30:14

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:32

Attempt saved. Djaniny (Cape Verde Islands) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Héldon.

28:45

Ali Maâloul (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

28:45

Foul by Héldon (Cape Verde Islands).

28:01

Foul by Ali Maâloul (Tunisia).

28:01

Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick on the right wing.

27:13

Offside, Tunisia. Ahmed Akaichi tries a through ball, but Ali Maâloul is caught offside.

23:32

Attempt missed. Jamel Saihi (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ali Maâloul.

21:23

Foul by Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands).

21:23

Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:35

Corner, Cape Verde Islands. Conceded by Aymen Mathlouthi.

18:32

Attempt saved. Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) right footed shot from long range on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stopira with a headed pass.

16:19

Attempt missed. Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Yassine Chikhaoui.

14:46

Attempt saved. Ahmed Akaichi (Tunisia) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mohamed Ali Moncer with a cross.

14:15 Booking

Booking Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia) is shown the yellow card.

12:14

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

12:14

Nuno Rocha (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:31

Attempt missed. Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

11:23

Ahmed Akaichi (Tunisia) wins a free kick on the right wing.

11:23

Foul by Fernando Varela (Cape Verde Islands).

10:49

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

10:26

Delay in match Babanco (Cape Verde Islands) because of an injury.

9:35

Foul by Mohamed Ali Moncer (Tunisia).

9:35

Babanco (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:08

Attempt missed. Jamel Saihi (Tunisia) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

6:40

Corner, Tunisia. Conceded by Gegé.

5:32

Stopira (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:32

Foul by Yassine Chikhaoui (Tunisia).

4:38

Foul by Babanco (Cape Verde Islands).

4:38

Stéphane Nater (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:11

Djaniny (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:11

Foul by Syam Ben Youssef (Tunisia).

2:56

Babanco (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:56

Foul by Jamel Saihi (Tunisia).

1:30

Foul by Gegé (Cape Verde Islands).

1:30

Aymen Abdennour (Tunisia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:25

Fernando Varela (Cape Verde Islands) hits the right post with a header from very close range. Assisted by Babanco with a cross following a set piece situation.

0:44

Kuca (Cape Verde Islands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

0:44

Foul by Hamza Mathlouthi (Tunisia).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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