Croatia were runners-up to France in the 2018 World Cup and after defeating Wales last Saturday in a Euro 2020 qualifier, were expected to defeat the Carthage Eagles.

But it was the north Africans who made an early breakthrough with Anice Badri from African champions Esperance Tunis scoring on 16 minutes.

Bruno Petkovic levelled two minutes into the second half and Sliti netted from a 70th-minute spot-kick to lift Tunisian morale ahead of the African tournament.

Tunisia, whose lone Cup of Nations title came in 2004 when they were hosts, are in Group E with Angola, Mali and debutants Mauritania.

Burundi, another country who will be competing at the Cup of Nations for the first time, came from behind to draw 1-1 with former champions Algeria in Doha.

Both goals came in the second half with Baghdad Bounedjah, scorer of 39 goals for his Qatari club last season, putting Algeria ahead and goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi conceding an own-goal.

Stephane Sessegnon scored direct from a free-kick during the opening half to earn Benin a 1-0 win over fellow qualifiers Guinea in Moroccan city Marrakech.