There may have been heightened hopes for all the African teams ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, however, so far no nation from the continent has managed to live up to expectation.
So far four out of five African teams have played, yet none has been able to even record a point, with just one goal being scored.
African countries have often struggled when playing at the World Cup, but this year’s tournament was supposed to be different.
Super Eagles of Nigeria. Source: Premium Times Nigeria
Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal were all flawless during the qualification process for the tournament. However, with the exception of the latter who is yet to play, the rest have all failed to inspire any hope in Russia.
It is one thing to lose a game, but it is an entirely different problem if a team lacks fight and will when put on the world stage.
All the African countries that have played so far have not just lost their games, they have been totally outplayed and outclassed in those encounters as well.
Egypt’s opening game against Uruguay may have been considered as a tough one, at least on paper, but in the match, the South Americans were there for the taking.
Senegal 2018 World Cup team. Source: Pulse.ng
On a day when Uruguay struggled to get going, Egypt failed to take advantage and were rather content with sitting back and hoping for a draw. In the end, the Pharaohs lost the game following a late goal from their more determined opponents.
The story was not any different with Morocco who had the best shot to take three points against an unstable Iran side.
The North Africans, despite all the hype, lost to the Asian minnows, re-emphasizing the notion that the World Cup is simply not made for Africa.
Perhaps, Nigeria’s loss to Croatia was the most disappointing amongst all. In a game where the Croats battled for form, they still managed to emerge 2-0 victors.
More worrying is the fact that Croatia did not even need to be at their best to defeat the Super Eagles. The West Africans simply refused to rise to the occasion, displaying a passive, lethargic performance that frustrated their fans.
Egypt’s national football team players. Source: Daily Sabah
Tunisia may have given it a bit of fight when they faced England but once again a lack of ambition meant they ceded the last 10 minutes which led to the Three Lions snatching a late winner through Harry Kane.
Currently all hopes have been pinned on Senegal who will come up against Poland later on Tuesday.
It’s still early days in the World Cup, but on the basis of what the African teams have shown so far, this may turn out to be another frustrating tournament for Africa.