Qatar 2022: What Each African Nation Needs to Progress to Last 16 After First Round of Matches

Qatar 2022: What Each African Nation Needs to Progress to Last 16 After First Round of Matches

  • All five of the African nations in the World Cup failed to win their opening group games in the 2022 Qatar World Cup
  • There were several draws, while Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal all succumbed to defeat in their opening games
  • With 2 group games remaining, there is still a great chance for all these nations to fight for a place in the knockout stages

With the World Cup well underway, there is a slight concern from the African block on the performance of their nations.

Five countries bear the hopes for all of Africa to perhaps advance to the knockout stages of the competitions, but after the first round of group games, things are looking bleak.

Cameroon, World Cup
Nicolas Nkoulou of Cameroon in action during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group G match between Switzerland and Cameroon. Photo by Claudio Villa.
Source: Getty Images

None of the countries – Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia and Cameroon, managed to get a win in their first group game, with the Black Stars being the only African nation to score a goal so far in the tournament.

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Sports Brief takes a look at the remaining fixtures for the African nations in Qatar, and what they must achieve to ensure progression to the last 16.

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Senegal (Group A)

Senegal, who are in Group A , lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in what was a disappointing result for Aliou Cissé’s side considering how well they played.

Despite the absence of Sadio Mane, The Lions of Teranga still have quite the potent attack, and need positive results against Qatar and Ecuador to boost their chances of progression.

However, their fate is not entirely in their hands as they will also need either Ecuador or Netherlands to drop points. A draw in the game between these two would suit Senegal perfectly.

Ideally, Senegal need to beat both Ecuador and the hosts to make it to the last 16.

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Tunisia (Group D)

Tunisia have it a bit better than Senegal as they managed to claw a point against a talented Denmark side in their opening game.

Since they already have a point in Group D, they just need to avoid defeat and get a win in their remaining two games against France and Australia.

Tunisia, World Cup, Qatar 2022
Ali Abdi (L) of Tunisia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match between Denmark and Tunisia at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan. Photo by Erçin Ertürk/Anadolu Agency.
Source: Getty Images

France will definitely be tough opponents to get any point from, so Tunisia might need to beat Australia on Saturday, November 26 to ease pressure going into the final group game against the defending champions.

Ideally, a win and a draw would be enough to see them through.

Morocco (Group F)

Like Tunisia, Morocco also have a decent chance of progressing to the last 16 after avoiding defeat against the last World Cup’s finalists Croatia.

They however still have to face a talented Belgium side, as well as Canada, who were thoroughly unlucky to have lost to Roberto Martinez’s side.

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However, the Atlas Lions also need to simply avoid defeat in one game and fight for three points in the other to progress to the last 16.

Morocco must hope to keep in check the giants of Belgium and then go for the win against Canada to advance.

Cameroon (Group G)

Samuel Eto’o’s Cameroon have it all to do if they are to make strides to the knockout stages.

After losing 1-0 to Switzerland, The Indomitable Lions find themselves in a tricky situation as they now have to hope to get points against World Cup favourites Brazil and Serbia.

Brazil saw off Serbia 2-0 and are in pole position to win their group, while Serbia are considered favourites to finish as runners-up in Group G.

Cameroon’s best chance at progressing would be to beat Serbia on Monday, November 28, then hope Brazil beat Switzerland on the same day.

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Then in the final group games, Cameroon must at least upset Brazil with a draw and hope Serbia beat Switzerland for their first three points.

Ghana (Group H)

In truth, Ghana look like the glimmer of hope for Africa, despite losing their first game to Portugal in a thriller.

Ayew, Ghana, World Cup
Andre Ayew of Ghana battles for the ball with Otavio of Portugal and Danilo of Portugal during the Group H. Photo by Pablo Morano.
Source: Getty Images

The Black Stars put up a brave performance against a strong side in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, and one cannot bet against them to at least score more goals in their remaining 2 games.

They come up against South Korea on Monday in what looks on paper like a must win game for Otto Ado’s side.

If they can get the 3 points against South Korea and Uruguay drop points against Portugal, the Black Stars will head into the penultimate game against the Uruguayans as favourites to finish as runners-up in Group H

Fans storm Embolo’s house

Elsewhere, Sports Brief reported on an incident that saw angry fans storm a house believed to belong to Breel Embolo

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Embolo fired Switzerland to a 1-0 win over Cameroon, and fans have stormed the striker’s family house in Yaounde.

Born in Yaounde, Cameroon, Embolo went on to play professional football for Switzerland, and he helped his European nation beat his country of birth.