World Cup: History of African Countries in The Knockout Phase

World Cup: History of African Countries in The Knockout Phase

  • Morocco bear all of Africa’s hopes and dreams at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
  • The Atlas Lions reached the quarter-finals after seeing off Spain in the Round of 16
  • No African side has made the semi-final of a World Cup, with Ghana coming closest

With the World Cup heading to its business end, the whole of Africa will be supporting one nation in the quarter-finals: Morocco.

The Atlas Lions have been the surprise packages in Qatar so far in the tournament, as they remain unbeaten and have only conceded one goal.

In addition, Morocco has taken down some giants on their way to the quarter-final including Belgium and the mighty Spain.

Morocco, World Cup, Qatar, Quarter final
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou is thrown in the air as Morocco celebrate their victory during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 victory over Spain. Photo by Charlotte Wilson.
Source: Getty Images

Their quarter-final clash against Portugal promises to be an interesting watch, but fans will still hold the nation in high regard - regardless of the result.

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If they manage to get past Fernando Santos’ side, Walid Regragui will be the first manager ever to guide an African nation to the World Cup semi-finals.

As far as the quarter-finals are concerned, several African nations have managed the feat in the past. Sports Brief looks at how nations from the continent have fared in the knockout stages of past World Cup editions.

African nations in the knockouts

2022: Morocco (quarter-finals), Senegal (R16)

2014: Algeria, Nigeria

2010: Ghana (quarter-finals)

2006: Ghana

2002: Senegal (quarter-finals)

1998: Nigeria

1994: Nigeria

1990: Cameroon (quarter-finals)

One of the more underrated World Cup runs for an African nation was Cameroon in the 1990 edition of the World Cup.

As cited on the World Cup official site, the Indomitable Lions at the time were in group B alongside Argentina, Romania and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). They somehow managed to come out of the group with two wins out of a possible three.

In the Round of 16, the legendary Roger Milla helped his nation to a famous 2-1 win over Colombia as Cameroon progressed to the last eight, where they were eliminated by England.

Morocco star's World Cup prediction

Sports Brief also reported on intersting footage of Angers winger Sofiane Boufal making a Mundial prediction.

The former Southampton star has been one of Morocco's stars at the World Cup alongside Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi.

In a video shared on Twitter months ago, Boufal said that if the Atlas Lions made it out of the group stages, they would be a surprise team to reach the quarter-finals.

Source: Sports Brief News