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Africa – Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Nigeria – Time To Stand Up And Be Counted

Assuming Serbia beat Australia in Group D then Ghana will have to avoid defeat against Germany to progress to the next round. Considering Germany need a victory to guarantee their own progress and will presumably be totally focussed the consensus is that Ghana have missed a big opportunity against the 10 men of Australia, only drawing 1-1.

In Group G, assuming Portugal beat North Korea, then the Ivory Coast will probably have to avoid defeat against Brazil to have a chance of progressing to the next stage. In Group C, Algeria have to defeat the USA and hope England beat Slovenia to progress.

In Group A, South Africa have to defeat France and hope Uruguay and Mexico have a positive result.

Nigeria, in Group B, need to win with a comfortable margin against South Korea, presuming Argentina defeat Greece. Considering  South Korea themselves will progress if they avoid a heavy defeat, Nigeria will not find it easy. In Group E, Cameroon need four points from their last two matches, against Denmark and the Netherlands, if they are to have a chance of progression.

Simply put, no African side is yet out of the competition but in this inaugural World Cup tournament on the African continent there is a genuine chance that by the time the second stage begins all the African sides will be eliminated. Pele once promised, after witnessing Cameroon in the 1990 tournament in Italy, that an African nation would win the World Cup by the time the new century arrived. It never happened.

In 1 week’s time, 20 years after Cameroon became the first African side to reach a World Cup quarter final there is a strong possibility that no African side will have reached another since. The entire continent, and at times the majority of the rest of the world, are supporting the African sides and hoping they can find some magic. Time is running out. Only one African side has recorded a victory so far.

A World Cup tournament in Africa where an African team does not reach the second stage will be seen as a disaster. The tournament needs it. The world wants it. The onus is on an African team, in these final group games, to find the spark needed to squeeze into the next stage. If an African team does make it to the knock out stages then the support of a continent, the feel of playing on home territory, might lead them a long way. An African team needs to make it out of the group first.