Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss against Uruguay in the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa eight years ago is still fresh in the minds of many Africans. As another edition of the World Cup draws nearer by each day, Africans will be hoping that they won’t have to endure another heartbreak as they did in 2010 and that on this occasion, their teams will reach those penultimate stages that have proved elusive so far. Raising the African flag high in Russia this year will be Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Senegal. The big question is, which of these five will do Africa proud.
Egypt finds itself in Group A, alongside Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia. Egypt’s first match will be against Uruguay on 15 June, you can follow this and all other World Cup matches on sport.netbet.co.uk. The first match for Egypt will undoubtedly be the toughest as the South American team is highly rated. Uruguay captained by Diego Godin will presumably have the toughest defence as has been the norm over recent times. This means that Egypt will have to come out and be on the front foot for the majority of the match. With in-form Mo Salah in the team, it’s likely that Egypt will score goals on the other end but the biggest question is, will Egypt’s defence cope with Uruguay’s counter attacks and the dangerous Luis Suarez. If the Egyptian defence can contain the Uruguayan front force, then Egypt will win this game and subsequently the other two matches to qualify for the last 16.
Verdict- Reach last 16
Nigeria is in Group D alongside Croatia, Iceland and Argentina. In the build-up to the World Cup, Nigeria has played some good football and recorded some impressive victories including one over Argentina, the same team it is going to face in the group stages. Nigeria however will need more than a good performance to qualify for the last 16 as they are facing three teams that are much better than them. The win against Argentina in the friendlies may have been unexpected but a repeat of that performance is highly unlikely considering that much is at stake for Argentina this time around. Croatia has made it a tradition to qualify to at least the last 16 stage at every World Cup tournament and it’s highly unlikely that Nigeria can pull off a surprise here. The match against Iceland may be Nigeria’s only match that they can claim some points but it will not be easy considering Iceland’s heroics at the last UEFA Euro Championships.
Verdict- exit at the groups stages
Arguably, Senegal may be the best team from Africa at the World Cup considering the calibre of the players it has and where majority of Senegalese players play i.e. in top European leagues. However, be that as it may, Senegal may find it difficult to manoeuvre past the group stages due to the calibre of opponents it is facing. Columbia are no pushovers as is Poland and Japan.
Verdict- exit at the group stagesRead Full Story