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World Cup: African nations who reached the last 16: How did Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and Morocco perform?

17:58 WAT 04/12/2022
Nigeria Argentina 2014 World Cup.
GOAL looks back at how nations from the continent fared from the preliminary stage to the second round of the previous editions

With the Round of 16 games going on in Qatar, GOAL takes a look at what happened to the African countries who reached this stage.

Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Senegal are African teams that have previously made their way into the second round.

In Qatar, Senegal and Morocco remain after Tunisia, Ghana, and Cameroon fell short at the group stage.

  • Morocco 1986 World Cup.

    Morocco 1986

    The Atlas Lions were surprise winners of their group, which had England, Poland, and Portugal in the finals that were held in Mexico.

    Courtesy of draws against the Three Lions and the Polish and a 3-1 victory over Selecao, Morocco confirmed their place at the summit of the pool.

    In the knockout stage, the Atlas Lions -  who became the first African and Arab national team to have passed the first round of the World Cup - suffered a 1-0 loss to Germany through a goal scored by Lothar Matthaus.

  • Cameroon 1990 World Cup.

    Cameroon 1990

    The Indomitable Lions assured themselves of a place in the finals after beating Nigeria and Tunisia in the final qualifying phase.

    Argentina, Romania and the Soviet Union were Cameroon’s rivals in Group B. They started the campaign on a high after a 1-0 win over Argentina – the defending champions – before a 2-1 win over Romania. They surprisingly lost their final group game after a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Soviet Union.

    In the knockout stage, Cameroon managed to beat Colombia 2-1, courtesy of an inspiring brace from Roger Miller, then 38 years of age.

    They came up against England in the quarters and lost by a 3-2 scoreline. David Platt scored the opener for England before the Africans registered an equalizer courtesy of Emmanuel Kunde’s 61st-minute penalty.

    Cameroon took the lead when Eugene Ekeke scored the second but were pegged back when Gary Lineker scored a penalty. Lineker scored again from the spot in the 105th minute to give England the victory, ending Cameroon’s campaign in Italy.

  • Nigeria 1994 World Cup.

    Nigeria 1994

    For the first time, the Super Eagles – under coach Clemens Westerhof - were part of a World Cup, the 1994 edition.

    The West Africans produced impressive outcomes and topped their group, which consisted of Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece.

    A 3-0 victory over Bulgaria, a 2-0 win over Greece, and a 2-1 loss against Argentina were the results posted by Nigeria as they advanced to the second round. In the knockout round, they were eliminated by a 2-1 loss against Italy.

    They took the lead when Emmanuel Amunike scored, but the Italians fought back as Roberto Baggio found the back of the net twice to hand the Europeans victory.

  • Nigeria 1998 World Cup.

    Nigeria 1998

    The return of the 1994 World Cup stars boosted Nigeria’s confidence ahead of the 1998 finals.

    They were in Group D, which also had Bulgaria, Paraguay and Spain. They shocked La Roja when they picked up a 3-2 victory in the opening fixture.

    A win against Bulgaria helped them book a place in the knockout stage even though they lost their other group game, to Paraguay.

    However, they could not get into the quarters after suffering a 4-1 loss at the hands of Denmark.

  • Senegal 2002 World Cup.

    Senegal 2002

    Senegal made their debut World Cup appearance in 2002 and caused a major upset by beating France – the 1998 winners – in their opening game.

    Les Bleus suffered the defeat even though they had big names like Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Emanuel Petit, and Patrick Vieira in the squad.

    Draws against Denmark and Uruguay, coupled with a previous win, were enough for the Teranga Lions to book a place in the second round.

    In the last 16, they defeated Sweden in extra time to book a place in the quarters where they lost to Turkey, in extra time.

    In the Japan/South Korea finals, the Teranga Lions' ambition was powered by key stars like Papa Bouba Diop – the scorer against France, Salif Diao, Lamine Diatta, Henri Camara, El Hadji Diouf, and Aliou Cisse, who is the current head coach.

  • Ghana 2006 World Cup.

    Ghana 2006

    The Black Stars started the 2006 campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Italy, the eventual winners. But a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic and a 2-1 victory over the USA ensured they progressed to the second round.

    A 3-0 round of 16 defeat to Brazil saw their campaign in Germany come to a halt.

    Ronaldo, Adriano, and Ze Roberto were Brazil’s scorers as Asamoah Gyan was sent off.

  • Ghana vs Uruguay 2010 World Cup.

    Ghana 2010

    After securing a 100% record in the qualification under Milovan Rajevac, they became the first Africans to book a place in the 2010 finals.

    Ghana were pooled with Germany, Serbia, and Australia in the same group and managed to proceed to the knockout stage.

    In the Round of 16, they defeated the USA 2-1 in extra time and became the third African team to reach the quarterfinals.

    They met Uruguay in the quarters but lost in the post-match penalty shootout. Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty that would have pushed them to the semi-finals in extra time.

    Before that, the Black Stars were given a great chance to score when they were awarded a penalty after Luis Suarez controversially cleared the ball with his hand from crossing the line. The Uruguayan was sent off, but his side were the eventual winners of the tense encounter.

  • Algeria 2014 World Cup.

    Algeria 2014   

    The North Africans were in Group H alongside Belgium, Russia, and South Korea during the Brazil finals.

    Despite Sofiane Feghouli scoring, the Belgians mounted a comeback and won the opening fixture by a 2-1 scoreline.

    In the second game, they defeated South Korea 4-2 and became the first African team to score four or more goals in a single match in a World Cup. They followed the win with a 1-1 draw against the Russians and advanced to the second round.

    In the knockout stage, they played Germany and held the Europeans to a goalless draw in 90 minutes.

    They conceded twice to lose 2-1 in extra-time and were eliminated. Abdelmoumene Djabou scored Algeria's goal while Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil were Germany's scorers.

  • Nigeria 2014 World Cup.

    Nigeria 2014

    The Super Eagles were with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, and Argentina in the group stage.

    They started the campaign with a 0-0 draw against Iran, and against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Odemwingie’s goal gave them the victory.

    In the third game, Lionel Messi scored a third-minute goal, but Ahmed Musa struck an immediate equalizer. Messi struck again before the half-time break, but Musa equalized again for the Nigerians in the second half.

    Marcos Rojo scored the third for Argentina, who emerged as 3-2 winners. Although they lost, Nigeria booked a place in the Round of 16. They played France and conceded in the 79th minute when Paul Pogba struck. Emmanuel Emenike thought he had scored in the 18th minute, but his goal was ruled out for offside.

    An own goal by Joseph Yobo in injury time all but ensured France progressed 2-0 at the expense of the Super Eagles.

  • Senegal

    Senegal and Morocco 2022

    The Atlas Lions and the Teranga Lions are Africa’s flag bearers in the Round of 16 in Qatar.

    Morocco emerged unbeaten from their group that had pre-tournament favourites Belgium, the 2018 runners-up, Croatia, and Canada, while Senegal came in second place in Group A.

    This is only Senegal’s third World Cup finals after 2002 and 2018. They will play England on Sunday, and Morocco will be up against Spain on Tuesday.