All of Africa’s five representatives at the on going 2018 FIFA World Cup have failed to qualify for the knock out stages of the tournament for the first time since 1986.
Best Results from 1986
In 1986, Morocco qualified for the knockout stage but lost 0-1 to West Germany. Cameroon were beaten by England in 1990. The Indomitable Lions lost 2-3 after extra time.
Nigeria were beaten by Italy 2-1 after extra time in 1994. 1998 saw Nigeria again loosing to 1-4 to Denmark at the round of 16. Another great performance was witnessed by Senegal in 2002 when they bundled out of the quarters after loosing to 0-1 at extra time to Turkey.
Ghana unfortunately could not handle then defending Champions, Brazil as they were drowned 3-0 at the round of 16 in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Africa presented six team at the 2010 World Cup as South Africa hosted the tournament. With Ghana once again as Africa’s only hope, they lost on penalties to Uruguay in the quarter finals.
2014 was no different as Nigeria and Algeria qualified from their groups only to be defeated by France and Germany respectively. France beat Nigeria 2-0 whereas Algeria lost to eventual winners Germany, 2-1 after extra time.
Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia have all been eliminated in the current 2018 FIFA World Cup edition after failing to qualify from the respective groups at the World Cup.
The Pharaohs qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1990 after topping a group involving Ghana who had almost changed fortunes for Africa in 2010. Ghana got eliminated by Uruguay at the quarter final stage after a controversial hand ball scene from Barcelona striker, Luis Suarez. The Black Stars lost on penalties.
When Egypt qualified many were of the hope that they can make it out of Group A which involves Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia. The seven times African champions failed to secure even a point in this group and lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia on the last day of their group games. But their star striker Mohammed Salah scored two goals in his two appearances and also Egypt’s first goal from open play in the World Cup.
Group consisted of European giants Spain and Portugal. But with Asian representatives Iran as Morocco’s first opponent in the group games, they were expected to secure the three points to cushion themselves in the group ahead of facing the Iberian neighbours.
Unfortunately, the Atlas Lions broke the hearts of their faithfuls when they succumbed a last minute goal by Iran only to remain at the bottom of the table after day one. They pulled up a giant performance against Portugal in the second game but unfortunately fell to a Cristiano Ronaldo header in the 3rd minute of the game but could not equalise though they took control of the game. Their first two defeats left them with little or no hope as they went into the third match with Spain their neighbours. The Moroccans pushed the 2010 Champions harder for a win but could not hold unto their 2-1 lead after 85 minutes of play but could only manage a point after 2-2 results.
The Super Green Eagles of Nigeria were one of the teams tipped to get Africa further in the tournament as a result of their previous outputs in the World Cup.
They qualified for the knockout stages in 1994, 1998 and 2014. This time around in Russia, Nigeria failed as they did in 2002 and 2010.
They went into a decider with Argentina on the last day of their Group D matches and only needed a least of draw to qualify ahead of the two times World Champions.
Nigeria had manged to beat Iceland in their second game but could not managed a 1-1 draw after 85 minutes to push Argentina away and then march on in the FIFA Mundial 2018. They once again fell narrowly to the Messi led side as they did in 1994, 2002, 2010 and 2014.
The Terenga Lions headed into their last group game against Columbia with 4 points from two matches and carried the most hopes of Africa in the mundial. They held the South Americans for over 70 minutes of play before been slashed in the throat by Yery Mina’s header from a corner kick.
Aliou Cisse’s men fought to get a draw but in maturity played a better of them. They could not replicate the great performance shown against Poland and Japan in their first two games prior to meeting Columbia. With the same points, goals scored and conceded matching with Japan, Senegal were eliminated based on fair play, their 6 yellow cards as compared to Japan’s four were enough to leave Russia.
The Carthage Eagles would only play for reputation and academic purposes as they take on Panama in their last group game of Group H.
The already lost 2-1 to England after failing to deal with a last minute corner. But unfortunately recorded one of Africa’s worst result in the World Cup when they lost 2-5 to Belgium in their second game.