1 GK Sadok Sassi 15 November 1945 (aged 32) Club Africain 2 DF Mokhtar Dhouib 23 March 1952 (aged 26) CS Sfaxien
3 DF Ali Kaabi 15 November 1953 (aged 24) COT Tunis
4 MF Khaled Gasmi 8 April 1953 (aged 25) Club Bizerta
5 DF Mohsen Labidi 15 January 1954 (aged 24) Stade Tunis
6 MF Néjib Ghommidh 12 March 1953 (aged 25) Club Africain
7 FW Témime Lahzami 1 January 1949 (aged 29) Al-Ittihad
8 MF Mohamed Ben Rehaiem 20 March 1951 (aged 27) CS Sfaxien
9 FW Mohamed Akid 5 July 1949 (aged 28) CS Sfaxien
10 MF Tarak Dhiab 15 July 1954 (aged 23) Espérance
11 FW Abderraouf Ben Aziza 23 September 1953 (aged 24) Étoile Sportive du Sahel
12 MF Khemais Labidi 30 August 1950 (aged 27) JS Kairouan
13 FW Néjib Liman 12 June 1953 (aged 24) Stade Tunis
14 FW Slah Karoui 11 September 1951 (aged 26) Étoile Sportive du Sahel
15 FW Mohamed Ben Mouza 5 April 1954 (aged 24) Club Africain
16 FW Ohman Chehaibi 23 December 1954 (aged 23) JS Kairouan
17 DF Ridha El Louze 27 April 1953 (aged 25) Sfax Railways Sports
18 DF Kamel Chebli 9 March 1954 (aged 24) Club Africain
19 FW Mokhtar Hasni 19 March 1952 (aged 26) La Louviére
20 DF Amor Jebali 24 December 1956 (aged 21) AS Marsa
21 GK Lamine Ben Aziza 10 November 1952 (aged 25) Étoile Sportive du Sahel
22 GK Mokhtar Naili 3 September 1953 (aged 24) Club Africain
The only thing about the Tunisians was sorting out their names – trying to get them, at least relatively, right in spelling and perhaps figuring out the ever confusing problem of players listed officially with names not matching previous information and actual match lines. Point in case: whatever pictures of team Tunisia emerged before the finals, they showed a goalkeeper named Attouga as a captain. There was no such player in the official Tunisian World Cup squad. May be the captain just of few months before was dropped? If so, why? Yet, there was a player looking similar to this Attouga – Sadok Sassi. It was the same player, officially Sassi, but known at home as Attouga. Apart from this traditional confusion, leading to spelling errors and constant uncertainty who was who, there was little to say about the squad – two foreign based players, seemingly the stars of the unknown team: the new captain Temime Lahzami, playing in Saudi Arabia for Al-Ittihad, and another striker, Mokhtar Hasni, playing for La Louviere in Belgium. Neither club suggested real class, though. The rest were playing for Tunisian clubs and the best known was the 1977 African player of the year Tarak Dhiab. Modest team, at best. Whatever close investigation was possible, made it even weaker: Lahzami, apparently the star of the team, since he was the new captain, debuted in 1977. He was 29 years old in 1978... how really good could be such a player? And how good would be a team captained by such star?
Clear enough? If still confused, you are not alone... this is supposed to be the line-up facing Mexico. Just look at other lists of the same match – and Jebali appears among the players. And mysterious Chaib... well, good luck with the puzzle.
At the end, the best hope of solving the name mystery was early elimination – no team, no problem – which was exactly the fate envisioned for the absolute outsiders.