The group stages of the Qatar 2022 World Cup is done and dusted and Africa and its representatives did not go unnoticed.
A continent with just 5 representatives in this mundial – Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Ghana was shaking the big boys of the tournament till the very last whistle of the group stages, indeed Africa is standing tall in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Senegal were a hard nut to crack in group A as they edged out Ecuador to qualify for the round of 16 for the first time in 20 years. The very last time they were in the knockout stages at the World Cup was at the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup.
Win against Qatar and a hard fought victory against a difficult Ecuador has ensured Aliou Cisse surpassed his 2018 World record where Senegal were knocked out on fair play rules.
Joining Senegal to stand tall in the sands of the Middle East is the Atlas Lions of Morocco. The lions did not only stand tall but roared loud for the whole world to hear. In a group that had the 2018 World Cup finalists, Croatia and the second ranked team in the world, Morocco cruised into the round of 16 on top of these two teams.
The North Africans defeated Belgium and forced Croatia to a draw without conceding a goal against both sides. Morocco will now play in the World Cup round of 16 for this first time since 1986.
The other three countries did not make out of their groups however they showed fight and resilience in their outings.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon bowed out of the tournament with their heads held up high as they became the first African country to defeat 5 times winners of the World Cup Brazil in their last group match. The win however was not enough as they lost the battle of qualification to Switzerland.
The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia also left it late in the group stage. The loss to Australia ensured they were knocked out of the tournament but a big display against Denmark and an usual victory against defending World Champions France stole the headlines.
The France win was the North Africans third victory at the FIFA World Cup in their six appearances in the tournament.
Wahbi Khazri scored Tunisia’s goal against France
The Black Stars of Ghana did shine in Qatar. Although not as much as they would have liked but their presence was felt at the tournament.
The almost perfect come back against Portugal, the entertaining win against South Korea and the unbelievable loss to Uruguay on the final day of group stages.
The team could not pick the one point needed for qualification to the round of 16 hence they are on their plane returning home.
The 5 African teams ensured they won at least a match in their group with Morocco and Senegal winning two matches. Thus, 7 wins in a single World Cup is the most African teams have recorded in the group stages.
Sun 4/12/22 Senegal v England 8pm (WAT)
Tue 6/12/22 Morocco v Spain 4pm (WAT)
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