The FIFA World Cup is coming to an end this weekend with two last games: the final between France and Argentina, and the game for the symbolical third rank and a seat on the podium for either Morocco or Croatia. Two days before the closing ceremony and everybody leaving to spend some Christmas time, what kind of assessment is it possible to draw for the five African teams that participated in this 2022 edition?
We have to talk about Morocco’s performance, Morocco’s historic performance in this tournament. The Lions of Atlas have just been making history since they were the first African nation ever to manage to reach the semifinals of the world cup. Never before had we seen an African team go so far in the competition. Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) succeeded in reaching the quarter finals over the last few years, a good achievement indeed, but not better.
Defeating Spain in round of sixteen and Portugal in quarter finals, the Moroccans fell in semifinals against France (0-2). Disappointed of course since you only think of winning the trophy when you are so high in the competition, but historic, again. And let us hope this is a trend that will keep on in the next few years.
Senegal (without Sadio Mané, and this must be highlighted) qualified for the second round of the tournament and was kicked out by England (0-3) in round of sixteen. The last winner of the African Cup of nations was the second squad of the continent to pass the group phase after Morocco.
Ghana, Cameroon and Tunisia were not ridiculous at all in this world cup, grasping victories against France, Brazil and South Korea. But finally too short, and a bunch of regrets. One of them, Vincent Aboubakar on the bench in the beginning of the competition for Cameroon: when you see what he did against Serbia (game 2) and Brazil (game 3), you can perhaps start using the words “what if”…