WORLD CUP – A SNEEK PEEK AT AFRICA’S CHANCES

The first ever Winter WORLD CUP slated for November/December is almost upon us with all 32 teams confirmed and Africa having 5 representatives in the World Biggest Stage; We take a look at the teams and their chances of making the AFRICAN continent proud.

GHANA (BLACK STARS)

Photo Credit – GHANA News

The Ghanaian National Team nicknamed ‘THE BLACK STARS’ qualified for their fourth World Cup tourney at the expense of neighbours – Nigeria who they overcame via away goal rule with a 0-0 draw at Ghana accompanied by a 1-1 draw in Nigeria with a Thomas Partey strike enough to send them through via Away goal rule.

Ghana’s best showing at the World Cup Finals came in 2010 where they were eliminated by Uruguay in a Penalty Shootout after Asamoah Gyan had previously missed a last minute penalty that would have sent them to the Semi-Finals. The 52nd ranked FIFA team head into Qatar filled with mixed reactions as they look to do better than their abysmal 2014 showing were they were eliminated in the group stages.

Their group for Qatar 2022 has been confirmed in what looks like a group of death with Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay. The match to watch would surely be versus Uruguay with the team looking to exert revenge on the Uruguayan Team.

Head Coach – Otto Addo

Captain – Andre Ayew

Star Player – Thomas Partey

Predicted Finish – GROUP STAGE

CAMEROON (THE INDOMITABLE LIONS)

The Indomitable Lions had a daunting task ahead their qualification for the World Cup with a last minute strike by Karl Toko Ekambi in extra time the deciding factor as they edged Algeria 2-1 and qualify on away goal rules after previously losing the first leg 1-0 at Cameroon to send the whole West African nation to ecstasy.

The team has qualified eight times for the FIFA World Cup, more than any other African team (in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014. However, the team has only made it once out of the group stage and would be looking to make it better than their previous showings with 1990 the only time they made it past of the group stage where they lost to England.

In a Group that looks tasking, they square of against Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia in a group where a good showing should be enough to see them past the group stage and with a good and experienced squad with them, it remains to see if the jinx since 1990 is broken and The Lions roaring past the hurdles of Group G.

Head Coach – Rigobert Song

Captain – Vincent Aboubakar

Star Player – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

PREDICTED FINISH – ROUND OF 16

MOROCCO (THE ATLAS LIONS)

The Moroccan National Team had a smooth passage into Qatar 2022 with an all round showing that saw them pummel DR Congo 5-2 over two legs to book their place in the last 32 at the World’s biggest stage and represent Africa and North Africa in the World Cup Finals.

This would be the sixth time the North African stars would be in the World Cup since their first ever showing in 1970 and with a Round of 16 finish their highest ever finish and that came in 1986. Their previous cameos came in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2018 and this year’s 2022 event.

In a group that sees them lock horns with FIFA’s top 2 ranked team Belgium, Last edition’s beaten Finalists – Croatia and arguably the best North American team Canada, it looks to be somewhat of an Herculean task for Morroco with qualification from this group looking unlikely and may be deemed a miracle but nevertheless football is known to be a game of 90 minutes and stats aren’t always game winners.

Head coach: Vahid Halilhodžić

Captain – Roman Saiss

Star player – Achraf Hakimi

PREDICTED FINISH – GROUP STAGE

TUNISIA (THE CARTHAGE EAGLES)

The Tunisian National Team had to grind out a 1-0 win over two legs through thick and skin to see off a resilient Mali team to book thier spot in the 2022 Qatar World Cup with passage granted through a Moussa Sissako own goal from the Mali national team.

The Tunisia side made it their sixth appearance in the World Cup Finals after previously making the Group stage in 1978, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018 and this year’s event in 2022 but the Eagles have never made it past the Group Stages in any of their six cameos at Football’s Grandest stage, an unwanted record they would hope to break in Qatar.

The CARTHAGE EAGLES were drawn in Group D in a group that promises to be exciting and adventurous for the side with the team placed in the same group as France, Denmark and Australia as they look to make it past the Group stages for the first time since their first ever World Cup qualification in 1978.

Head coach – Jalel Kadri

Captain – Youssef Msakni

Star player – Wahbi Khazri

Predicted finish – Group Stage

SENEGAL (THE TERANGA LIONS)

Senegal’s route to the 2022 World Cup was undoubtedly the hardest with the team having to go through the intricacies of Extra Time and Penalties as they defeated Egypt 3-1 in the shootout in what was a repeat of the AFCON final earlier that year which the Senegalese team also won.

Senegal have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, in 2002 where they reached the quarter finals and lost to eventual third placed team – Turkey and in 2018 were they became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated using the fair play rule after being tied with Japan on the first six tiebreakers. The 2022 Qatar World Cup makes it the third time the Teranga Lions make the World Cup Finals.

The Senegalese Team are by far the best team currently in Africa with a team that could rival some of the best European and South American teams and with a cool group stage draw handed to them in Group A, they square off aganist Qatar, Ecuador and Netherlands as they bid to make Africa proud with big names in the squad; Sadio Mané, Kalidou Koulibaly, Namplys Mendy, Idrissa Gueye amongst others. It is safe to say Africa has put the most hopes on them.

Head Coach – Aliou Cisse

Captain – Kalidou Koulibaly

Star Player – Sadio Mané

PREDICTED FINISH – Quarter Finals/Semi Finals

🖋 – RIDDLER ZLATAN-HARDIZ 👽

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