Senegal and Morroco are the two African nations who have survived the torrid 2022 FIFA World Cup Group stage and will carry the continents hopes of a historic semi-final spot.
In this report, SportsRation presents their journey through the group stage and path to what will be a historic semi-final spot in Qatar.
THE GROUP STAGE FOR AFRICAN TEAMS
A fairly impressive 2022 FIFA World Cup Group stage campaign it was for African countries.
Only two of the five nations scaled the first hurdle the three others missing out by slim margins.
Tunisia defeated World Champions France in the final group game but were eliminated following Australia’s win over Denmark.
Ghana on their part needed at least a point vs Uruguay to progress but fell to a 2-0 loss to finish bottom of Group H.
Vincent Aboubakar scored with a beautiful header as Cameroon secured a win over Brazil but that will be a send-off gift due to Switzerland’s 3-2 win over Serbia on Friday night.
For the successful ones, Senegal finished second in Group A, the Terenga Lions winning two of three group stage games to join Netherlands in the last-16.
The African Champions began their journey with a 2-0 loss to Netherlands before picking wins over Qatar and Ecuador .
For Morroco, A 0-0 draw vs Croatia was followed by a 0-2 shock win over Belgium. Walid Regragui’s charges sealed top spot with a 2-1 win over Canada in the final group game.
Their Group A second place finish landed Senegal a Last-16 fixture vs England.
A tough encounter this is, and Aliou Cisse’s men will start as underdogs for this game.
Morroco are paired against Spain. A tough one but Luis Enrique’s men are not invisible as proven by Japan.
Walid Regragui’s charges will have to be at their very best again to surmount this challenge and advance to the last-8.
POTENTIAL QUATER FINAL PAIRING
If they are successful in the Round of 16 games, Senegal and Morroco will draw the winners of the France vs Croatia and Portugal vs Switzerland games.
A Senegal vs France Quater-final tie will bring back memories of the Terenga Lions famous win over the French at the 2002 World Cup.
Morroco too would have delivered a big statement with a win over Spain and so will be high in confidence vs Portugal or Switzerland in the Quater-final.
HISTORIC SEMI-FINAL SPOT FOR AFRICA
Very unlikely , you will say but if it happens that both countries sail through the Round of 16 and Quater-final, they will meet in the Semi-final at the Al Bayt Stadium on December 14.
That will mean a first African team in the final of a FIFA World Cup, and possibly a first World Cup title win for Africa.
This is the journey on paper, the main job will take place on the pitch and for a World Cup that has delivered many surprises already, anything is possible.