By Beng Emmanuel
African countries have scrambled and struggled to carve out a legacy for themselves in over three decades at the FIFA World Cup but only a handful of nations have toiled to take themselves out of sight.
The continent has been ruined and brutally exposed as most often representatives sunk without a proper fight to better improved scintillating European countries.
Till date,no African country either by mere luck of the beautiful game or audacious attempts have managed to reach the last four of the quadrennial soccer event. During such decisive games,most of these nations have often been culpable of their own downfall leaving die heart supporters quite dissatisfied. However, there have been instances where hopes were high some nations could breeze into the semi final but at the seconds leading to glory approached their ambitions crumble.
Kick442.com returns to some of the instances where the expectations of an entire continent were dashed away at extra-time.
Cameroon vs England
Cameroon have qualified for seven World Cup finals ( 1982,1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, & 2014 ) more than any other African team.
In 1990, the Indomitable Lions became the first Africa nation to reach the quarter final of a World Cup but lost to England in extra-time.
There were surely no elements of fortunes in their brilliant run. A narrow win against defending champions Argentina sparked waves of excitement across the globe. Romania suffered a 2-1 defeat but the Soviet Union imposed their supremacy in a 4-0 thrashing. Despite the defeat, Cameroon qualified for a sterner round of 16 where Cameroonian legend Roger Miller inspired the Lions to victory with two extra-time goals against Columbia.
Cameroon faced England in the quarter final. The Lions demonstrated minimum of fuss and struggled to carve clear cut chances. Emmanuel Kunde cancelled out David Platt opener with a superb equaliser before Eugene Ekeke glanced home a second for Cameroon. Unfortunately, England were able to level scores seven minutes to stoppage time before concluding a remarkable comeback with a converted Gary Lineker late penalty (105 minutes ).
South Africa 2010
Ghana vs Uruguay
Ghana have participated at three World Cup tournaments (2006,2010,2014).
In 2006, they were the only African side to reach the Knockout stage.
In 2010, Ghana progressed beyond the group stages. With a terrific combination of young stars at the time, the Black Stars reignited the African lost spark at the competition which enabled them sail to the quarter final and faced Uruguay.
After another emphatic display, Ghana held their opponents at bay. Louis Suarez controversially handballed on the goal line deep into extra-time and denied Ghana of becoming the first nation to reach the World Cup semi final. The rest you know, Asamoah Gyan’s penalty Kick hit the woodwork and Ghana were eliminated on penalty shootouts.
Algeria vs Germany
Amongst their four appearance at the World Cup finals, the Desert Foxes of Algeria have reached the Knockout stages once reaching the round of 16 in 2014 before losing to eventual champions Germany.
Algeria provided plenty of energy and frustrated the Germans in their offensive threats. But after regular play time, the North African side, neither had the resource to resist longer or offer any serious threat upfront. Germany’s Schurrle scored the game’s opener (92 minute) while Ozil (119 minute) drilled a second to double the Manchafft lead. Algeria however got a consolation goal (120 minutes) through Njabou Abdelmoumene. To think that a better Algerian side could have created the miracle. Algeria’s shot stopper, Raïs M’bolhi was named man of the match. He had made an outstanding number of good saves. Anchor that’s how Algeria’s superb campaign came to an end.
There have been other instances of Africa’s World Cup misfortune. Senegal and Morocco are of no exception. The list is long.
Many football lovers hold that Africa’s best chances to clinch the World Cup came in
1990 with Cameroon. Nigeria also got close in 1994.
But one thing is certain,there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Destiny can be delayed. But cannot be destroyed.
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