African nations have been responsible for some of the greatest moments in World Cup history. Who could forget Senegal beating France in 2002 or Cameroon beating Argentina at Italia 90? Yet despite a large presence of exceptional African players throughout the best leagues in the world, a team from the continent has still yet to make it to a World Cup semi-final.
With some upsets to start the tournament, Qatar 2022 is an event where anything could happen. Below, we discuss which African team has the best chance of making it to the semifinal in this tournament.
Senegal clinch the first African victory of this World Cup 🇸🇳💪 pic.twitter.com/Z9cb8JBKLH
— 433 (@433) November 25, 2022
Of the five African nations that have qualified, Senegal seemed to have the biggest chance of success at the start of the group stage. African champions, they are also one of the few nations on the continent to reach a quarter-final in a World Cup. In their squad, they have Sadio Mane, currently signed by Bayern Munich. He has pace and ability in abundance, backed by a squad that can provide the momentum he needs.
However, so far, fortune has not favored Senegal. They lost their first game 2 – 0 to the Netherlands, which saw their odds lengthen. Pre-tournament, they were well over +10000 to win, though bookmakers were giving results as high as almost +30000 for them after this. Even with betting available in many areas of Africa, including Senegal and Nigeria, the odds refused to go down despite a flurry of wagers spurred on by new innovations such as in-play betting. Football is easily the most popular sport on the continent, and comprehensive comparison sites like Bettors.ng provide a full rundown of all the odds for African nations in the tournament, so you can check these as the games go on. That is assuming they make it through the group stage, of course!
Morocco and Cameroon
Vincent Aboubakar put Cameroon on his back 🤩 pic.twitter.com/GB9gryKuTT
— GOAL (@goal) November 28, 2022
The next fancied favorites after Senegal are Morrocco, closely followed by Cameroon. All three made the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations earlier in the year. Defensively, Morrocco is an extremely strong squad. They have wingback Achraf Hakimi, a player at Paris Saint-Germain and possibly the world’s best at what he does. However, Cameroon has Zambo Anguissa for experience, who has shown his abilities this year in the Italian Serie A.
Both of these teams have drawn fairly tough opposition in their group stages. Morocco faces Belgium, Croatia, and the lesser-fancied Canada. However, they did manage a no-score draw against the always-underrated Croatian squad in their opening game. Cameroon has Serbia and mighty Brazil but lost their opening game 1 – 0 to Switzerland. After this, they have a mountain to climb to pull themselves out of the group stage.
Tunisia and Ghana
— Arsenal Buzz (@ArsenalBuzzCom) November 28, 2022
That leaves Tunisia and Ghana. Arguably, Ghana has the most depth of any African squad. Thomas Partey from Arsenal and Mohammed Kudus from Ajax will pair alongside Inaki Williams and Tariq Lamptey. Despite a beating from Portugal, they started the tournament looking good, fighting back for a 3 – 2 result.
Tunisia has a slightly more forgiving group. Alongside France, Australia and Denmark are the other two teams with them. A defensive game with the Danes left them with a no-score finish, though they had very little possession. Their next game is against the Aussies, and they need a win to be in contention.