African teams featuring in this year’s world cup have so far played their first matches in the group stages wining a match (16.66%), drawing two matches (33.33%) and losing three matches (50%). This is not too impressive, considering the fact that Africa has 6 teams taking part in the tournament on her soil.
Only Ghana was able to win her first match; South Africa and Cote d’ivoire each drew their matches while Nigeria, Algeria and Cameroon all lost theirs. To be fair to Nigeria, losing to a great team like Argentina was not a particularly a poor performance. This is because Argentina paraded 4 deadly strikers – Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Diego Milito (Remember Messi is the current world footballer of the year). Nigeria actually put up a superlative performance to be able to contain the rampaging Argentine attack. Nigeria’s Goal keeper, Vincent Enyeama was voted “Man of the match” and is currently rated one of the best Goal keepers of the tournament.
Algeria played well against Slovenia, but lost the game after their striker Abdelkader Ghezzal was red-carded for deliberately handling the ball in the second half. The Slovenians took advantage of the one man deficit to defeat the North African team. So far of all the teams that have lost their opening games, Cameroon has disappointed the fans the most, losing 0-1 to lowly rated Japan. That loss to Japan has now dampened their chances of advancing in a group that still has Netherlands and Denmark. Cameroon now needs to win their last two matches or at least win one and draw the other, if they hope to make it from that group.
South Africa started well in their opener against Mexico, drawing against Mexico which had earlier beaten the world champions, Italy in a friendly match prior to the commencement of the world cup. Siphiwe Tshabalala got voted as the “Man of the match”. Coted’ivoire also gave a very good account of themselves as they held Portugal to a goalless draw. With Didier Drogba sitting on the bench for a better part of the encounter, the Ivoriens were able to stop the Portuguese (with Cristiano Ronaldo|) from scoring against them.
All hope is not lost for Africa, as the participating teams still have chances to make it to the second round and beyond. All they need to do is believe in themselves and take every game as they come. All kinds of fear must be dissipated; they would play better if they remain comported and fearless against their opponents. The fans are solidly behind them; the environment is friendly for them to perform well. They should also remember that only once has a continent hosted and lost the trophy (Korea/Japan 2002). This might just be the chance for an African team to win the world cup. Best luck to you all.