There was late drama in France’s World Cup game against Tunisia when the defending champions thought they had equalized in injury time.

With Les Bleus trailing 1-0, Antoine Griezmann looked to have made it 1-1 in the 98th minute, firing a low shot into the back of the net.

The French celebrated, believing they had avoided defeat, while the hearts of the Tunisians sank.

But the celebrations were cut short as the goal was then disallowed after VAR intervened and advised a pitchside review.

Griezmann had celebrated his goal with teammate Ousmane Dembele before being ruled offside

The referee, Matthew Conger, looked at his monitor and announced that Griezmann was offside.

It meant that Tunisia scored a famous victory over Didier Deschamps’ men.

Former Sunderland player Wahbi Khazri’s superb 58th-minute goal earned his side their first world Cup win against European opponents after 11 previous attempts.

However, despite the famous triumph, they failed to progress to the last 16 of the tournament, after Australia beat Denmark 1-0 in the other Group D game.

Australia join France in the round of 16, both finishing with six points, while Tunisia (four points) and Denmark (one point) exit.

Tunisian fans celebrate after their team beat France 1-0.  Photo: AP
Tunisian fans celebrate after their team beat France 1-0. Photo: AP

France, having won their first two group matches, had already qualified for the round of 16.

As a result, coach Deschamps rested Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and most of his regular starters for the game against the North African side.

Only four members of the starting line-up had even started a World Cup game before.

Khazri said he didn’t believe France were disrespecting Tunisia by fielding such a weakened team.

“A lack of respect? No. (AurĂ©lien) Tchouameni plays for Real Madrid, as does (Eduardo) Camavinga,” Khazri said.

“It’s an honor to play against them. I grew up in a little corner of Corsica that no one has ever heard of, so it’s amazing for me to play in the World Cup.”

Khazri’s goal, however, prompted Deschamps to bring in Mbappe and Griezmann and the heightened urgency nearly saw them level again.

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