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2010 World Cup – More African Teams Lose First Matches
African teams participating in this year’s world cup have played their first group games winning matches (16.66%), drawing two matches (33.33%) and losing three matches (50%). This is not very impressive, considering that Africa has 6 teams participating in the tournament on its territory.
Only Ghana managed to win their first game; 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 that bad. This is because Argentina featured 4 strikers who scored – Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Tevez and Diego Milito (Remember Messi is the international player of the year). Nigeria did well to counter Argentina’s attacks. Nigerian goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama was voted “Man of the match” and is currently ranked as one of the best goalkeepers in the tournament.
Algeria played well against Slovenia, but lost after their striker Abdelkader Ghezzal was red-carded for handling the ball in the second half. The Slovenians took advantage of a man down to defeat the North African team. So far, of all the teams that have lost their opening games, Cameroon have been the biggest disappointment to fans, losing 0-1 to lowly Japan. Japan’s loss there has now reduced their chances of progressing to a group that still includes the Netherlands and Denmark. Cameroon now need to win their last two games or win one and draw the other, if they hope to get out of the group.
South Africa got off to a good start in their opening match against Mexico, drawing against reigning champions Italy in a pre-World Cup friendly. Siphiwe Tshabalala was chosen as “Man of the match”. Coted’ivoire also provided a good record as they held Portugal to a goalless draw. With Didier Drogba sitting on the bench for the better part of the encounter, the Ivorians were able to stop the Portuguese (and Cristiano Ronaldo|) from defeating them.
All hope is not lost in Africa, as the participating teams still have a chance to go to the second round and beyond. All they have to do is believe in themselves and take each game as it comes. All forms of fear must be overcome; they play well if they remain calm and fearless when dealing with their opponents. The fans are behind them; environment and friendly to do well. They should also remember that only once did a continent receive and lose the trophy (Korea/Japan 2002). This could be an opportunity for an African team to win the world cup. Good luck to you all.
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