The World Cup tournament has got many people excited and perplexed as favourite teams seem to be struggling to get through the first stage. As you keep watching, a little history might enrich your knowledge.
Did you know that Egypt wasthe first African nation to appear at the World Cup? The Pharoahs appeared in the second edition of the tournament in 1934. Following the team’s performance in Italy at the World Cup, no African nation appeared in the tournament finals until 1970. The tournament in Mexico saw Morocco qualify and the nation became the first African country to obtain a point at the tournament finals.
Despite an African country never winning the World Cup, there have been some tremendous performances by teams from the continent. Here is a look at the best African performances in World Cup history.
Tunisia qualified for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina thanks to the management of Abdelmajid Chetali. The manager was born and raised in Tunisia making the country’s qualification even sweeter. The World Cup in Argentina was Tunisia’s first-ever appearance and the side didn’t take long to make a lasting impression. Down 1-0 to Mexico, Tunisia battled back for a 3-1 win. It marked the first-ever victory for an African nation at the World Cup.
Cameroon will always be remembered as the first African nation to reach the World Cup quarterfinals. The team was led by the ageless Roger Milla who was still competing at the highest level when many of his contemporaries had retired. Milla was 42-years old during the tournament. Cameroon shocked the football world by opening up the event with a win over reigning champions Argentina. Despite losing to the Soviet Union 4-0, Cameroon topped the group after three matches. The Indomitable Lions defeated Colombia in the round of 16 before pushing England all the way in the quarterfinals. The match against England finished 3-2 after extra-time.
The 2002 World Cup saw Senegal pull off one of the greatest upsets of all-time. Playing in their first World Cup, Senegal defeated reigning champions France to open the tournament. It sent the Teranga Lions on an unbelievable journey to the quarterfinals. Senegal ran into an inspired Turkey in the last eight and lost in extra-time, 1-0. The team’s exploits will be remembered as one of the continent’s best.
Ghana 2010: Quarterfinals
Ghana were on the verge of making the semifinals at the World Cup 2010. If it hadn’t been for Uruguay’s Luis Suarez blatantly stopping a sure goal with his hand in the last seconds of extra-time, Ghana would have won. Instead the two teams went to penalties where Uruguay held their nerve and won the quarterfinal showdown. Ghana had played well winning twice, drawing once and losing two times in five matches.
Nigeria 2014: Round of 16
Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi became the first African-born coach to lead his team to the knockout round in 2014. Nigeria picked up four points in a group that contained Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iran. The Super Eagles were eliminated in the last 16 by France, which was one of the favorite teams according to Bet365, and led by their manager by Stephen Okechukwu Keshi had already made history. The moment was remembered by Nigerian football fans in 2016 as Keshi passed away due to a heart attack. Keshi is remembered as a national hero.
A couple of the African teams are still in the running with Senegal leading the pack. You still can try your luck using the jackpot joy promo code if you want to bet on Senegal or any other team!
This story is sponsored by North Star Network.