Egypt, Morocco eliminated – Africa’s World Cup woes continue

African countries have always flattered to deceive at the World Cup and this year’s tournament is no different.

The 2018 World Cup in Russia was supposed to be a tournament where Africa finally took its rightful standing in world football. However, the early signs don’t look encouraging as two of the continent’s best sides are already out of the competition.

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Unfortunately, though, all two are from North Africa. But as unfortunate as this looks, it should not come as a surprise.

For many years, countries from North Africa have contrived to disappoint when on the world stage. But with Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia qualifying for the tournament in Russia, many expected an upturn in fortunes.

Not since 1990 had Egypt qualified for the Mundial, and with Mohamed Salah in their ranks, the Pharaohs built up hopes.

However, two disappointing losses to Uruguay and Russia means Egypt are already out of the World Cup after just two games.

Morocco may have played their hearts out, but their lack of potency upfront ultimately proved to be their undoing.

Tunisia and Nigeria have played one game each, but on the evidence of how lethargic they were in those matches, it would not be far-fetched to suggest an early exit for both teams.

So far, Senegal has been the only bright spot for Africa in Russia. The Lions of Teranga put up a scintillating performance to down Poland 2-1 in their opening Group H game.

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That result stands as Africa’s sole victory in the ongoing World Cup, as the other teams continue to falter in sequence.

Some years back, Brazil legend Pele predicted that an African side would win the World Cup by the 21 Century, however, it turns out that three-time World Cup winner was in dreamland when he uttered those word.

Not only has no African team won the World Cup, but also no country from the continent has even managed to reach the semi-final, let alone the final.

It is an appalling return for a continent that has contributed so much to football. In terms of talent, Africa matches the other continents, however, there is a missing piece that separates these trophy-winning continents from Africa.

After just two games in Russia, two African countries are out. And, although Senegal won their first game, there is no guarantee that even they would go that far.

As hard as this is to admit, it is conspicuous that Africa’s woes are set to continue in Russia.