No African team has ever reached the World Cup semi-finals. What are the odds for 2022?
What are Africa's World Cup chances?
Qualified teams include; Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal
Ghana almost made it in 2010 in South Africa. The West African country was close to fulfilling the dream of Africans to finally advance to World Cup semi-finals.
The game had already entered extra time when Ghana's Stephen Appiah kicked the ball towards Uruguay's goal. Luis Suarez blocked it at the goal line, but Dominic Adiyiah headed the ball towards the goal.
The ball was not caught by Uruguay's goalkeeper but by Suarez, who used his hands to stop the ball.
Suarez was subsequently given a red card; Ghana's Asamoah Gyan failed to score penalty. The following penalty shootout was then won by Uruguay, thus ending Ghana's chances to reach semi-finals.
Two other African teams have so far reached quarter-finals: Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002. Both lost during extra time.
Hopes are high for the 2022 squad heading to Qatar: Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon and Senegal.
Morocco's Atlas Lions
Morocco will be participating in a World Cup for the sixth time; for the first time the team has qualified twice in a row since 1998.
In the playoffs. the Atlas Lions were in emphatic form against the Congolese at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, winning 4-1 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate to sail into their sixth World Cup appearance.
Azzedine Ounahi scored a brace with Tarik Tissoudali and Achraf Hakimi adding one each to the massive victory. Ben Malango scored DR Congo’s consolation, but it was mere statistic as the Moroccans sailed through with ease.
Ghana's Black Stars
Ghana qualified for their fourth World Cup after edging out Nigeria on the away goal rule following a 1-1 draw in Abuja.
The two sides drew 0-0 in the first leg in Kumasi last week and heading into the return fixture, the Ghanaians only needed a scoring draw to progress.
Nigeria continued to dominate but couldn’t find another breakthrough as both teams went into the break level.
The Super Eagles were still the better side in the second half, with Osimhen spurning two glorious opportunities.
Despite Nigeria’s late onslaught, Ghana held on nick a draw, sealing their place at the 2022 World Cup on away goals. For Nigeria, this is the first time they will be missing the World Cup since 2006.
Tunisia's Carthage Eagles
Tunisia too has not yet been able to survive the groups' stage, in spite of participating in five World Cups.
Tunisia on Tuesday, March 29 qualified for a sixth World Cup finals appearance after a 0-0 draw at home to Mali ensured their place at the tournament in Qatar with a 1-0 aggregate triumph.
Mali, who have never previously qualified, were much more enterprising but failed to break down a typically tight Tunisia defence, as the hosts held onto their advantage from last Friday's first leg in Bamako.
The north Africans benefitted from a horror own goal in Mali where defender Moussa Sissako contrived to turn the ball into his own net in the first half of the first leg and then get himself sent off only four minutes later.
Cameroon's Indomitable Lions
Karl Toko Ekambi swept home perhaps the most important goal of his career, scoring in the fourth minute of added time as Cameroon beat Algeria 2-1 in Blida to qualify for their eighth FIFA World Cup.
The two teams played to a 2-2 aggregate score, but Cameroon qualify to Qatar on the away goal rule.
Algeria looked to have booked their place when Ahmed Touba netted with three minutes remaining at the end of extra-time, but as Cameroon pushed everyone forward for the final play of the game, Toko Ekambi latched onto a headed pass from Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui to net a most unlikely winner.
It seals a disastrous few months for the north African side who were dumped out of the Africa Cup of Nations finals, ironically played in Cameroon, in the first round in January as they gave up the title they won in 2019.
Senegal's Lions of Teranga
Senegal ranks 18 on the FIFA world ranking, making it the highest ranked of all African teams.
This is only the third time for Senegal to play in a World Cup. In 2002, during the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Aliou Cisse led the team as captain. Today he serves as their coach.
For the second time in as many months, Senegal edged out Egypt on penalties. Having beaten the Pharaohs on spot kicks to clinch their first Africa Cup of Nations title, the Lions of Teranga repeated the same feat, this time to seal a place in the World Cup.
Once again, it was Sadio Mane who scored the decisive kick as Senegal progressed to the World Cup for the third time in their history.
In the shootout, both teams missed their first two kicks. Kalidou Koulibaly struck the crossbar for Senegal before Saliou Ciss saw his effort saved. On the other end, Mohamed Salah blazed his effort over the bar while Ahmed Mostafa ‘Zizo’ struck wide.