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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 21:03 GMT
Lemerre praises players
Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre
Roger Lemerre issues instructions to his team before extra-time

Tunisia coach Roger Lemerre attributed his team's penalty shoot-out victory over Nigeria to the hard work of his players.

The Carthage Eagles reached their third Cup of Nations final on a penalty shoot-out, after extra-time had ended with the teams locked at 1-1.

"The players know that it is the daily work that has got them this far," said Lemerre.

"I feel very sad for Nigeria but there can only be one winner.

We had some fortune
Tunisia midfielder Mehdi Nafti

"We won the shoot-out and that is the law of sport."

Tunisian midfielder Mehdi Nafti was also generous in victory, saying the Cup of Nations hosts had ridden their luck en route to their narrow victory.

"We had some fortune," he said.

"We didn't want to lose and we have done a lot of work on penalty shoot-outs, so we are all very happy."

Nigeria had opened the scoring in the 67th minute when Super Eagles captain Jay-Jay Okocha converted a penalty following Karim Hagui's foul on Nwankwo Kanu.

Fifteen minutes later, Tunisia captain Khaled Badra equalised, also from the spot, after Seyi Olofinjana's tripped forward Ziad Jaziri.

Badra also scored in the penalty shoot-out but the Tunisia skipper will miss the final after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament.





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