The 2022 World Cup continues to show why it’s the biggest football event in the world with a series of jaw-breaking moments. One thing that is certain at the ongoing Qatar 2022 world cup is the unprecedented results from different countries.
While some will say it was a “shege” moment for some countries, some countries soar higher to the clouds registering their names in the minds of football enthusiasts for the next four years.
Meanwhile, African Countries weren’t excluded in the jaw-breaking process as some put the continent on the spot during their football odyssey at the World Cup. To start with, four African countries recorded victories in a single round for the first time in a World Cup competition. It has always been three victories in the last 20 years.
2002 (Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa), 2010 (South Africa, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire), 2014 (Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Algeria) and 2018 (Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia).
AFCON defending champions, Senegal, who had a last minute setback a few days into the World Cup due to Sadio Mane’s injury, shrugged off the calamity and qualified for the knockout stage for the first time in 20 years. It has been a big and massive year for the Aliou Cisse boys who won their second AFCON in January under their legendary former player and captain, then to a World Cup knockout stage ticket with the help of their captain, Kalidou Kolibally is a milestone achievement.
But while Senegal’s record became the talking point, Morocco did better with bigger records at the world cup.
Firstly, the Atlas Lions defeated Belgium 2-0 in their second group stage game to record their first ever win since 1998. The victory then saw the Lions top their group with a big win over Canada to break Super Eagles of Nigeria, a 24-year-old record and a 30-year-old record . Nigeria, an african country topped a world cup group for the first time at the 1998 World Cup after humiliating Spain and Bulgaria.
They further joined Senegal to set a record as the first time two African countries will be progressing to the knockout stage.
Although both Cameroon and Tunisia didn’t qualify for the next round, a victory over Football power houses Brazil and France means a lot.
Cameroon would have Vincent Aboubakar to thank as they became the first African nation to defeat Brazil at the World Cup while Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri who has been in over three goals for the Eagles scored to stun France, a long time foe for the first time.
Many would have thought the Black Stars of Ghana had learnt from their 2010 experience with Uruguay only to be dragged into it.
With the resilience shown against Portugal and Korea, the Black Stars would have dreamt of paying back Uruguay. But it was just a dream as the reality was otherwise.
Ghana needed just a point regardless of Korea’s victory over Portugal to earn the second knockout ticket after the Selecao. But they fell into the hands of Luiz Suarez and the Uruguay team who walloped the Black Stars 2-0. The disappointments would be Andre Ayew missing a penalty in the 21st minute and his brother Jordan Ayew being intercepted five minutes later which eventually led to De Arrascaeta’s opener which was a rebound to Luiz Suarez’s shot to Lawrence Ati Zigi.
The Black Stars soon suffered from their old time adversary, Suarez who captained the team for a “mind game” against Ghana provided an assist to Arrascaeta four minutes after the first goal was scored.
Senegal will be flying the African colours against England by 8pm on Sunday at the Al Bayt Stadium while Morocco will be playing against a distant geographical neighbour, Spain on Tuesday by 4pm.