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Facts & Stats - WC 2018's 5 African nations

World Cup 2018's 5 African nations: current caliber and tournament history

November 14, 2017 By Michelle Bonsu
After a long qualifying process, five African nations have finally sealed their spot at next year's World Cup. LiveSoccerTV.com takes a look at their past history and what they hope to achieve at World Cup 2018.

After a long and difficult qualifying process, five African nations have finally sealed their spots at next year's World Cup. Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia will all be hoping to make the entire continent proud at one of the most-anticipated footballing tournaments in the world, and ahead of the latest edition of the quadrennial competition, we take a look at each side.

When did they qualify?

Nigeria - October 7, 2017

Egypt - October 8, 2017

Senegal - November 10, 2017

Morocco - November 11, 2017

Tunisia - November 11, 2017

How did they qualify?

Africa are given five spots at the tournament, and given that there are five groups, the breakdown is quite simple: Only the group winner will seal an automatic berth.

However, despite winning their respective groups, some found it easier than others. In fact, there was even a replay that ultimately proved to be decisive.

Some had to wait until the final matchday in a winners take all clash. Here's a quick overview of how each side booked their tickets to the competition.

Egypt

With four wins, one draw, and one loss, the Pharaohs topped a quartet that included Uganda, Ghana, and Congo by four points. Save for a slip-up against Uganda, Hector Cuper's men appeared largely in control of their group and punched their ticket to Russia largely thanks to a 2-1 win over Congo on October 8th (as Ghana and Uganda fired blanks in a scoreless draw the day before).

Senegal

Arguably, Senegal have had the most interesting journey to next year's World Cup. Why? For starters, they were the beneficiaries of a replay against South Africa. Due to a bad call that saw South Africa win 2-1 as a result of a contentious penalty, the Senegalese Football Federation successfully lobbied FIFA to get the match replayed. They would go on to win that game 2-0 on matchday five and book their spot for next year's competition by winning the group by a five point margin.

Morocco

Morocco not only had to wait until the final matchday to earn a place at World Cup 2018, but also had to face the Ivory Coast. It was a winners-take-all clash, but Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia's goal was enough to complete a 2-0 win on the road and now they will feature at their first World Cup for the first time in two decades.

Nigeria

The Super Eagles cruised through their qualifying rounds without much fuss. Four wins and two draws helped them to win their group by a whopping six point margin, which is an impressive feat considering they also had Algeria and reigning AFCON champs Cameroon as two of the other opponents in their group.

Tunisia

Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at Tunisia. They completed their group stage qualifying process without losing (four wins, two draws) but it was a close battle until the end. How close? Well, they won their group by just one point, with a draw against Libya enough to see them through.

A quick overview of each team's past World Cup history

With the five sides who will be representing Africa now guaranteed, we cast an eye over each team's past performances at prior World Cups.

Egypt

  • Number of prior appearances: 2
  • Best finish: Group Stage (1934, 1990)

DID YOU KNOW? Egypt were the first African and Middle Eastern team to ever qualify for a World Cup. However, they have yet to win a match at the tournament in two prior attempts and will obviously be hoping for better fortunes next year.

Senegal

  • Number of prior appearances: 1
  • Best finish: Quarter-Finals (2002)

DID YOU KNOW? Senegal are one of only three African teams to reach the quarter-finals of a World Cup. The first was Cameroon in 1990 and the most recent was Ghana in 2010.

Tunisia

  • Number of prior appearances: 4
  • Best finish: Group Stage (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006)

DID YOU KNOW? Despite never clearing the group stages, Tunisia made history in 1978 by defeating Mexico 3-1, which made them the first African nation to ever win a World Cup match.

Morocco

  • Number of prior appearances: 4
  • Best finish: Round of 16 (1986)

DID YOU KNOW? In 1986, Morocco became the first African team to win their World Cup group (which included England, Poland, and Portugal) and make it to the round of 16, where they lost 1-0 to West Germany.

Nigeria

  • Number of prior appearances: 5
  • Best finish: Round of 16 (1994, 1998, 2014)

DID YOU KNOW? Nigeria just can't seem to avoid Argentina at the World Cup! No, really. In four out of their last five tournaments (1994, 2002, 2010, and 2014) the Super Eagles had to take on La Albiceleste in the group stages. Unfortunately for them, they have lost every single time


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