01:30 am: Wrapping up...
And with that, it’s a wrap of the group stages! That is the end of the most fascinating, entertaining, bizarre World Cup group stages in my living memory. That was a lot of fun, you guys. It’s time now for the knockouts!
Here’s the bracket. Who’s going to go all the way? Thanks for joining us. It’s an off day on Friday and we go again on Saturday.
FULL-TIME: TUNISIA HAVE DONE IT! They have won a game at the World Cup finals for the first time since 1978.
95th minute: Barcenas hits it well but straight at the goalkeeper. Unsavoury end to this game after the Tunisian players are upset with Tejada for stepping on the goalkeeper’s hands when he tried to rush in for a possible spill. Treatment for the GK and the game is into the 98th minute now.
94th minute: Free kick Panama from a dangerous position just outside the box! Not sure about you guys, but we are rooting for a Panama goal. 2-2 would be a just result.
93rd minute: Godoy tries to volley into the goal with his left from a good cross. Looked good hitting it, but it’s well wide.
90th minute: WHAT A CHANCE PANAMA! A low cross from the left evades not one, not two but four Panama players in the box – it was a goal if anyone could have got a touch on it.
88th minute: And there he comes off, the man of the tournament for Tunisia! Khazri is substituted for a standing ovation.
Tunisia have now fielded every player of their squad at their World Cup – including all three goalkeepers! PAN v TUN is going down in the history books again and again, you guys! What a night.
82nd minute: Khazri is almost through on goal but sub Cummings with a brilliantly timed tackle at the edge of the box. You guys know what, this has been quite an entertaining game.
77th minute: Another chance Panama! A lovely cross from the right flank, it is held by the GK well. Credit to Panama here for not folding when they conceded the second goal. They had a disallowed goal a few minutes back as well, for a foul that was called seconds before Barcenas sent a thundering long-range effort into goal! That would have been some way to end the tournament!
After 75 mins, Tunisia lead 2-1: Panama are still trying, to their credit, to get something out of this game but it feels as though they are running on empty.
And this is how good Khazri has been for Tunisia. Has he put himself on the shop window?
After 70 mins, it’s 2-1 Tunisia: Meanwhile in the other game, Batshuayi is breaking the internet for this epic moment!
66th minute: GOALLLLLL TUNISIA! GUESS WHO? It’s KHAZRI! For once the commentator jinx works the other way round eh? Khazri with a close-range finish to get a goal that he has thoroughly deserved tonight.
After 65 mins, 1-1: It’s a good day for Sunderland-related players. Former Sunderland man Januzaj with a stunner for Belgium while current Sunderland player Khazri is doing all the chance-creating for Tunisia. Has an assist and has easily been the best player on the pitch for the African nation.
After 60 mins, 1-1: Tunisia are once again dominating proceedings and are keen to get a winner. As a neutral, one feels a point apiece would be a fair result.
SUBSTITUTION: Disappointment for Panama captain and talisman Torres who is injured and brought off. The man scored the goal to bring his country to the World Cup. Sad.
Another goal in this match and another milestone achieved!
53rd minute: AND CHANCE TUNISIA! Oh Ben Youssef again, and this is saved brilliantly by the Panama goalkeeper. Referee plays a lovely advantage after Khazri is fouled at the edge of the box. The ball drops to Ben Youssef and it’s saved well.
51st minute: GOALLLL, TUNISIA! And we are back on level terms in Saransk as well. Tunisia get the goal they have thoroughly deserved through Ben Youssef and we are all square. A well-worked goal with Khazri providing the assist. GAME ON!
Meanwhile in the other game: Oh, an early goal for Belgium! And they celebrate it too... Januazj with a stunning finish.
Follow England vs Belgium here.
46th minute: Second half underway... BADRI (IN) - SASSI (OUT) for TUNISIA, CUMMINS (IN) - TORRES (OUT) for Panama
12:25 am: Join us soon for the second half to see if Panama create a bit of history.
HALF-TIME IN THE OTHER GAME AS WELL: The marquee game of the group England v Belgium is turning into a bit of a farce. Belgium fans are reportedly cheering for yellow cards for their own team which means they will finish 2nd on fairplay. Very little in terms of chances. Both teams have had encouraging spells on the ball. It was not interesting in terms of entertainment, though.
Follow England vs Belgium here.
HALF TIME - PANAMA 1-0 TUNISIA: A Meriah own goal (deflecting Jose Luiz Rodriguez’s shot from distance) puts Panama on track for their first ever win at the World Cup finals in their first ever appearance! If that happens, boy, the roof will come down in Kaliningrad.
Into first half stoppage time: CLOSE PANAMA! Two mins of injury time and it’s incredible Tunisia still haven’t scored! Khazri (yes, him again) goes close after a super pass into the box from midfield, his shot is deflected away by the GK and the rebound is cleared by Panama captain Torres.
After 42 mins, Panama 1-0 Tunisia: Other than sending the Panamanian fans into wild cheers, the Panama goal has another huge significance. EVERY team in the World Cup has scored at least twice.
34th minute: GOALLLL PANAMA! And there go the fans again! What a sight. This goes down as a Meriah OWN GOAL - a long shot deflects off the Tunisian and completely wrong foots his goalkeeper. Unlucky for Tunisia and completely against the run of play.
29th minute: Oh dear, Ben Youssef just completely miskicked the ball (complete air shot) and the ball rolls away for a goal kick,
After 25 mins, 0-0: Naim Sliti and Fakhreddine Ben Youssef have swapped their positions in the attack for Tunisia, who are dominating possession, 60-40 as it stands!
Meanwhile in the other game... (Live updates here)
After 15 mins, 0-0: Sunderland midfielder Khazri has been prominently involved in these early exchanges but still no clearcut openings.
Meanwhile in the top-of-the-table clash elsewhere: England have managed to somehow keep a clean sheet so far with Cahill making a goal-line clearance.
Follow England vs Belgium here.
After 10 mins, 0-0: Once again, chances at both ends but neither team able to apply finishing touches.
STAT: The last time that Tunisia won a World cup match, it was against a CONCACAF side when they famously defeated Mexico 3-1 at Argentina 1978.
After 2 minutes, Panama 0-0 Tunisia: Early set-piece opportunities for both sides but the delivery is on both occasions. Tunisia, remember, are playing with their third goalkeeper in three matches. Wonder how many times that’s happened in World Cup finals before?
After 2 minutes, Panama 0-0 Tunisia: As you’d expect, both teams seem to be going for it. Loud cheers from both sets of fans at kickoff. A party like atmosphere.
11:30 pm: You only had to see them sing the national anthems to know what this means to them. We are all set for kickoff.
11:15 pm: As Sunil Chhetri points out in the studios of the Indian broadcaster, it’s not right to say they are here just to make up the numbers. There is so much more at stake – pride, mainly. You never know when you’d get a chance to play at the World Cup finals again and you’d want to go back with something to show for. These players would give anything to score a match-winning goal at the World Cup and it could change their lives. As David James says Chhetri is someone who would give anything to be in that position, Chhetri agrees.
(Man, wouldn’t that be something!)
11:02 pm: Even though Panama are out of the World Cup are yet to get a point, they were responsible for one of the moments of this World Cup – scoring their first ever World Cup goal, against England and when the players and fans celebrated with all their heart! It was one of those goosebump-inducing moments. For a country like Panama to be at the World Cup ahead of the likes of the USA, and score against England – in many ways, that’s what makes the World Cup special.
10:55 pm: Here’s a reminder – we have our list of 16 teams confirmed for the knockout stages.
10:30 pm: The two teams are out. Ramon Torres is the captain for Panama while the goalkeeper Mathlouthi leads Tunisia.
Welcome to the live blog of Panama versus Tunisia, the most exciting match of the day. Both teams are out as they lost against England and Belgium in their opening games.
Tunisia, the Carthage of Eagles, were thumped 5-2 by Belgium and are playing for pride. Panama, the Canalmen, received their own thrashing 6-1 by England but they became the 74th team to score at the World Cup. They will also hope to win their first point at the finals tonight.
The Carthage Eagles’ only previous World Cup match against CONCACAF opposition was their debut fixture in the tournament, a 3-1 group stage victory against Mexico at Argentina 1978. That remains their only World Cup win to date.