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Friday, June 29, 2018

For first time since 1982, no African nation has reached World Cup knockout stages

After Senegal lost 1-0 to Colombia on Thursday, they were eliminated from the World Cup tournament in Russia. In spite of having equal points, and goal difference as Japan, the Asian nation made it to the Group of 16 on the basis of fair play rule. With Japan drawing 4 yellow cards and Senegal having 6 yellow cards, the latter became the first country in the World Cup history to be eliminated from the tournament on the basis of fair play rules.
Senegal’s exit ended the hopes of African nations in Russia. After Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia were already eliminated from the tournament, the side led by coach Aliou Cisse was the only African nation to be still in contention of making it through to the knockout stages. But their exit marks the first time since 1982 World Cup in Spain that no African nation has made it past the group stage.
In 1982 World Cup, there were only two African countries were participating out of 24 teams – Algeria and Cameroon. Cameroon finished in the third position in Group 1 on the basis of no of goals scored against Italy. While Italy had scored two goals, Cameroon had scored only 1 which marked their exit. Algeria, on the other hand, finished in the third position in Group 2 despite winning 2 games, with West Germany defeating Austria 1-0 in a match that later came to be known as “Disgrace of Gijon”.
The teams which have made it to the knockout phase in World Cup since 1986 World Cup are:
1986 – Morocco
1990 – Cameroon
1994 – Nigeria
1998 – Nigeria
2002 – Senegal
2006 – Ghana
2010 – Ghana
2014 – Nigeria, Algeria
From Group H, Colombia and Japan made it to the Round of 16, and will face England and Belgium, respectively.