Africa’s five representatives for the Qatar 2022 World Cup were confirmed on Tuesday. Cameroon, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Senegal all earned their place at the first-ever World Cup to take place in the Middle East and also during the months of November and December 2022.
All five qualifiers booked their places at Qatar 2022 by winning two-legged playoffs that had all the drama, excitement and upsets which will linger in our memories for a long time to come.
Let us take a look at the continent’s delegation to the FIFA World Cup.
After besting Egypt (again on penalties), the African Champions have displayed a grit and team spirit which is expected of continental champions. This team showed that they are hungry for success and still have even more to show of their immense potential; both as a team and as individuals. The Senegalese Football Federation’s choice to trust Coach Aliou Cisse has yielded handsome dividends once more as the ex-captain will now lead the Teranga Lions to consecutive World Cup finals. Many will tip this side to improve on their performance at the Russia 2018 event by qualifying from their group and even matching their feat at the Japan Korea 2002 mundial when they went all the way to the Quarter Finals.
Thomas Partey’s early goal against the Super Eagles sent them through (albeit with a stroke of good fortune); leaving their more fancied West African counterpart licking their wounds with regret. The Black Stars’ best outing was back in 2010 when they went all the way to the quarter finals and crashed out against Uruguay. Ghana will certainly have to improve as a team in order to match their performance at Africa’s World Cup. With a new found belief (and maybe aided by another stroke of good luck), the Black Stars might yet shine again on the world stage.
The Indomitable Lions roared past the Algerians to show that there is something special about this group. They came out with a fighting spirit reminiscent of their Golden generation which their current Coach and Cameroon Legend Rigobert Song led through conquests of the early 2000s. Cameroon are no strangers to the World Cup. The qualification for this year’s edition will be a chance to them to put the disappointment of not winning the continental trophy on home soil behind them. The team appears to be growing in confidence and will be expected to put on a decent show at the World Cup Finals.
Having built a 1-0 lead in Mali through a Moussa Sissako own-goal, Tunisia held on the return leg to squeeze through to the ticket. This will be their sixth appearance at the finals. Not much will be expected from this Tunisian side as they haven’t displayed any convincing character over the past few years. Fans will have to temper their expectations for a good showing at the World Cup.
The Atlas Lions qualified in style and many will fancy them to go beyond the first round of Qatar 2022. Boasting a strong squad with world class players such as Ashraf Hakimi, they (along with Senegal) will be Africa’s best chance of making a good mark at the mudial later in the year. The young side will also hope to set a benchmark for future success with their outing at this edition of the World Cup. Giving their undeniable potential, fans can expect that they will go all out and play beautiful attacking football.
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