|African countries will seek to shine at the World Cup but which of them will go all the way in Qatar? (photo credit: GOAL)|
One African team typically excels at the World Cup but what chance does any of them stand to go beyond the quarter-final finish that Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana managed in the past?
The five teams representing Africa in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup are Continental champions Senegal, Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco, and Cameroon. With the tournament only two days away from kickoff, we look at the fate of these teams in the middle east.
The African champions have been broken by the news that skipper Sadio Mane will not be fit enough for the tournament and in fact, he will require surgery and, that will rule him out for longer than first feared. This technically means the attacking burden now falls on Watford winger Ismaila Sarr.
The Senegalese will play against Netherlands, Ecuador, and host nation Qatar and it’s a little hard to see how they will make it out of the group on paper; football isn’t mathematics but can Senegal undo Netherlands and Ecuador? Can they stand the home crowd against the hosts? Third at best.
Samuel Etoo, the president of the Cameroonian FA has said his country will bring home the World Cup but can they make it out of their group to stand any chance of being thrown into the big conversations of the overall title?
Cameroon will negotiate tournament favorites Brazil, Switzerland, and Serbia. The Brazilians will take no prisoners and the other two are highly rated as the dark horses that can trouble any side; where does the hope of Cameroon lie? Third would be a major achievement, to be honest.
Tunisia is ever present at the World Cup; they always find a way past opponents in the qualifiers but they hardly do anything special at the tournament itself; Tunisia has never made it out of the group and they will hope to change that narrative in Qatar.
France may be carrying the curse of the defending champions on their shoulders but can Tunisia stop them? Australia is a potential banana peel but there’s no chance of a surprise against Denmark, does this mean we get to see the Carthage Eagles back ASAP?
Morocco is highly talented and could cause lots of trouble in Qatar with the likes of Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech flying their flag but can they for once, shine at the World Cup and make it past the group stage this time?
Belgium can be underwhelming sometimes despite their array of talents and Croatia also have some weaknesses, Canada is quite tricky as you don’t know what energy they will bring but Morocco can spring surprises and be the African star of this tournament.
Portugal might be a stretch but nothing is impossible for this Ghanaian side in Qatar; The Black Stars look the likeliest to shine of all the African sides going to the tournament but they must swim in the pool of Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea.
Everyone is probably waiting for the game against Uruguay, the repeat of the 2010 quarterfinal game where Luis Suarez happened to Ghana at the death. It’s a grudge match and the players will treat it as one. We watch out for that.