The Tunisia national football team (Arabic: منتخب تونس لكرة القدم), nicknamed Les Aigles de Carthage (The Eagles of Carthage or The Carthage Eagles), is the national team of Tunisia and is controlled by the Tunisian Football Federation. They have qualified for four FIFA World Cups, the first one in 1978, but have yet to make it out of the first round. Nevertheless, they created history in that 1978 tournament in Argentina by becoming the first African side to win a World Cup match, beating Mexico 3–1. They also held defending champions West Germany to a goalless draw before bowing out. They have since qualified for the three tournaments in succession, in 1998, 2002 and 2006: they were the only African team to appear at both the 2002 and 2006 tournaments.
Tunisia's first World Cup was the 1978 competition held in Argentina. They became the first African team to win a World Cup game, defeating Mexico 3–1 in Rosario. A 1–0 defeat to 1974 semi-finalists Poland followed, but although The Eagles Of Carthage then held reigning champions West Germany to a 0–0 draw, they failed to reach the next stage. Tunisia failed to qualify for the World Cup again until twenty years later.
Tunisia reached their second successive World Cup, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan. They started with a 2–0 loss against Russia, but a Raouf Bouzaiene free kick gave them a 1–1 draw against Belgium. Their final game resulted in a 2–0 defeat to co-hosts Japan, meaning they were knocked out in the group stages.
Tunisia's first major honour was the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations, which they hosted. The tournament started with a 2–1 win over Rwanda in Rades. That was followed by a 3–0 win against DR Congo and a 1–1 draw with Guinea. The quarter-finals saw them beat Senegal 1–0, and the semi-final against favourites Nigeria went to penalties after both Jay-Jay Okocha and Tunisia captain Khaled Badra scored from the spot during normal time. Ali Boumnijel saved Peter Odemwingie's strike, and Karim Haggui scored the winning spot kick to send the host nation through to their third Nations Cup final. The final was against local rivals Morocco, and Brazilian-born striker Francileudo Santos put The Eagles Of Carthage 1–0 ahead on 4 minutes, Morocco equalised just before half-time, but Ziad Jaziri made the score 2–1 on 51 minutes to win the tournament for Tunisia.