Discover the 5 African teams in the World Cup

The five teams representing Africa in the World Cup, Rio 2014
The 5 African teams participating in the world cup this June under the scoop of StarAfrica.



Algeria



How they qualified

After a good Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2010 in Angola, where the Fennecs won against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the quarter final, but lost to the Pharaohs of Egypt in the semi-final, the title winners of the 2010 edition.

Algeria's World Cup participation in the land of Madiba, South Africa, wasn't so great. The Warriors of the Desert lost their first game against Slovenia, the game that was considered key to their qualification, and drew against England in one of their best performances in years, and lost honorably to USA in the last minutes of the game, and were therefore disqualified.

They also had a poor 2013 Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations, where they lost their first two games against the Eagles of Carthage, Tunisia, and Togo in the second game, but they drew against Cote d’Ivoire in the third game. Leaving them with only 1 point out of 3 games, and therefore they were disqualified.

The Greens missed very few hits on their way to Rio 2014. They won five out of six group matches to easily top a tricky group with Mali, Benin and Rwanda.

Once they were in the final play-off round, they drew against one of the continents in-form teams, Burkina Faso, who surprised Africa by finishing second at the 2013 Orange AFCON. In that tie, they lost the first leg 3-2 due to a late penalty, but just claimed the place in Brazil with a 1-0 home win.

FIFA World Cup finals history

Algeria have played a total of three FIFA World Cup finals. They got off to the best possible start at the 1982 edition in Spain, beating West Germany 2-1 in their opening game.

Despite a 3-2 victory over Chile in their final group game, an earlier 2-0 loss to Austria meant that they were eliminated on goal difference. Algeria is the only team in the history of football that won 2 games but still can’t qualify to the next round in the World Cup.

That edition of the World Cup also witnessed a shameful act against Algeria by Austria and West Germany, when they refused to play fair football in the game matching them together, to draw and grant them both the qualification ticket. The rules of FIFA changed afterwards because of this incident, making all third pool games starting at the same time, to avoid such acts from happening.

Mexico 1986 was less memorable for the North African side. Drawn in Group D with Brazil, Spain and Northern Ireland, two defeats and a draw left them at the bottom of the table. Things weren't much better at South Africa 2010, pitted against England, USA and Slovenia, they lost twice and drew their other match, departing the competition without a goal to their name.

Rio 2014:

The draw put Algeria in a quite balanced pool, all teams have similar chances to qualify, with the Belgian Red Devils announced favorites of the group. The group is composed of Algeria, Hazard's Belgium, Arshavin's Russia and  Koo Jacheol's Korea. Algeria has its chances to honor Africa and qualify to the next round.

Head to Head:

Algeria vs Korea: The two teams met only once in a friendly fixture, Korea won with a score of 2 – 0.

Algeria vs Belgium: The two teams met twice in friendly fixtures, they drew once and Belgium won one game.

Algeria vs Russia: The two teams met only once in a friendly fixture in which they drew.

The key players

Madjid Bougherra is a key figure at the back, and he scored the all-important winner in the second leg against Burkina Faso. Valencia's Sofiane Feghouli is a talented attacking midfielder, while Parma's Saphir Taider and Tottenham's Bentaleb hold things down in front of the defence. Sporting Lisbona's Islam Slimani emerged as the most prolific option in attack during qualifying matches.

Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic

Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup Spain 1982, Mexico 1986, South Africa 2010 (Group stages)
Former stars: Rabah Madjer, Lakhdar Belloumi, Rachid Mekhloufi, Mustapha Zitoun

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 Ghana



How they were qualified:

Ghana survived one of the continent's toughest qualifying groups by winning five of their six matches against 2012 African champions Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan.

A 1-0 defeat in Zambia was their only failure in a campaign that saw them outscore their opponents by 15 goals. They qualified to the final play-off round, where again the Black Stars faced another tough opponent, the draw set them up against The Pharaohs of Egypt, record Orange AFCON champions. However, a large 6-1 win in Ghana in the first leg basically settled the tie and sent them into their third FIFA World Cup in succession even before a meaningless 2-1 defeat in Cairo.

FIFA World Cup finals history

An impressive FIFA World Cup finals in 2006 saw the Black Stars beat the Czech Republic and the USA before being eliminated by Brazil in the second round, but they were the only African team to qualify.

In 2010, they were again the only side from the continent in the knockout rounds, and they equalized Africa’s best-ever performance by beating the USA to reach the quarter-finals.

Ghana’s loss by penaltis to Uruguay in the last eight was perhaps the most dramatic of the tournament, and they may consider themselves as having unfinished business after Asamoah Gyan’s missed a penalty that denied them from becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup.

Rio 2014

In the World Cup organized in Brazil this June 2014, the draw was not merciful fot the Black Stars, setting them in the group of death with Ozil’s Germany, Ronaldo’s Portugal and Donovan’s USA.

Head to Head

Ghana vs Germany: The teams met twice, with two victories for Germany

Ghana vs Portugal: The teams never met before

Ghana vs USA: The two teams met twice, with two victories for the Black Stars.

The key players

The Black Stars can call on veterans Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari as well as players hitting their prime like Andre Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Up front, Asamoah Gyan will be a key player and no doubt will be anxious to prove that Ghana can be an undisputed team.

Coach: Kwesi Appiah

Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 (Quarter-finals), FIFA U-17 World Cup Italy 1991, Ecuador 1995 (Winners), FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 (Winners)

Former stars: Abedi Pele, Samuel Kuffour, Ibrahim Sunday

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Nigeria



How they were qualified

Drawn in Group F with Malawi, Kenya and Namibia, the Nigerians were always favorites to reach the final play-off round of qualifying round, and they did not lose any matches in the group stage.

However, they did draw three times, once against each opponent, with the most worrying result a 1-1 at home with Kenya. Once in the two-legged play-off, the Super Eagles drew with the lowest-ranked team, Ethiopia, and despite the improvement of the East Africans, Nigeria were rarely threatened. They won away 2-1 and at home 2-0.

FIFA World Cup finals history

After impressing on their way to the second round in each of their first two FIFA World Cup appearances, 1994 and 1998, Nigeria have struggled since: going out at the group stage three times while taking just two points from their last eight matches in the finals.

A muddled South Africa 2010 campaign under Lars Lagerback did little to strengthen Nigeria’s reputation, but Rio 2014 offers another chance for the reigning African champions to soar.

Rio 2014

The draw have put the Naija in a fair group with Messi’s Argentina, Dzeko’s Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nekounam’s Iran. The Super Eagles have their full chances of stepping to the next round.

Head to Head:

Nigeria vs Argentina: The two teams met 6 times, four wins for Argentina, 1 win for Nigeria and 1 draw

Nigeria vs Bosnia: The teams never met

Nigeria vs Iran: The teams met ony once, and it was the Super Eagles who ended victorius.

The key players

Coach Stephen Keshi has earned a reputation as a coach who is not afraid to choose in-form domestic players at the expense of more well-known stars. Keshi has kept a relatively stable spine of the team since then, with Chelsea's John Obi Mikel leaving his mixed past with the Eagles behind to become the lynchpin of the side.

Vincent Enyeama is an important veteran, while Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and Emmanuel Emenike are key parts of a dinamic attack.

Coach: Stephen Keshi

Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup USA 1994, France 1998 (Round of 16), FIFA U-17 World Cup China 1985, Japan 1993, Korea Republic 2007 (Winners), Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 1996 (Winners), FIFA U-20 World Cup Saudi Arabia 1989, Netherlands 2005 (Runners-up)

Former stars: Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Rashidi Yekini

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Cote d'Ivoire



How they were qualified

Côte d’Ivoire breezed through their opening qualifying group with four wins from their six matches. They scored 15 goals and their only dropped points came from two draws against their biggest rivals Morocco.

Their home-and-away play-off was much trickier however as a resurgent Senegal stood in their way. The Senegalese were one goal away from knocking out the Elephants on away goals at 3-2 on aggregate, but Salomon Kalou's late goal settled the tie and sent the Ivorians into their third consecutive World Cup finals.

FIFA World Cup finals history

Côte d’Ivoire have never made it past the group stage of a FIFA World Cup finals, but it is perhaps worth pointing out that the draw has never been particularly kind to them. For their debut appearance in 2006, the Elephants shared Group C with Argentina, Netherlands and Serbia and Montenegro. They finished third in the pool, just as they did in South Africa four years later, when they were drawn alongside Brazil, Portugal and Korea DPR.

Rio 2014:

The draw was easy on Cote d’Ivoire as they were set with a fair group with equal chances to qualify. Falcao’s Columbia, Honda’s Japan, and KaragounisGreece.

Head to head:

Cote d’ivoire vs Columbia: Never met before
Cote d’ivoire vs Greece: Never met before
Cote d’ivoire vs Japan: played three times, two wins for Japan and one win for the Elephants

The key players

Côte d’Ivoire have some of the greatest individual talents in Africa. Forwards Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are a formidable front pair, while midfield duo Didier Zokora and Yaya Toure were key players in the center. Explosive winger Gervinho supplies service from both flanks, with Emmanuel Eboue and Kolo Toure providing a wealth of experience at the back.

Coach: Sabri Lamouchi

Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 (Group stages), FIFA U-17 World Cup Canada 1987 (Third place), FIFA Confederations Cup Saudi Arabia 1992 (Fourth place)

Former stars: Laurent Pokou, Youssouf Fofana, Joel Tiehi

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Cameroon



How they were qualified

Drawn in perhaps the most open group in Africa, alongside Libya, Congo DR and Togo, Cameroon survived the challenge with the help of an overturned loss because of Togo's fielding of an ineligible player.

Ultimately the Lions did enough anyway with a 1-0 defeat of the pace-setting Libyans in their final match that saw them finish with 13 points from six matches. Once in the final play-off round, they were handled a tough task against Tunisia with aplomb. A scoreless draw on the road gave way to a 4-1 home win that has Volker Finke's side feeling confident about their trip to Brazil.

FIFA World Cup finals history

Perhaps no team has done more to shake up perceptions of African football. The Indomitable Lions exited Spain 1982 at the group stage, but they ended their maiden excursion undefeated, having drawn 0-0 with both Peru and Poland and 1-1 with eventual winners Italy. Eight years later, they wrote themselves into the annals of the game by beating holders Argentina in the Opening Match and becoming the first African side to reach the quarter-finals, powered by the goals of evergreen striker Roger Milla. That breakthrough performance remains their finest showing, group-stage exits having followed in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010.

Rio 2014

The draw was a little bit taugh on Cameroon, putting them in the first group with the hosts, El Seleçao of Brazil fully loaded with stars like Neymar, and El Tri of Mexico with Javier HernandezChicharito”, and Modric’s Croatia.

Head to head:

Cameroon vs Brazil: The teams met four times, one win for Camroon, and 3 wins for Brazil
Cameroon vs Mexico: They met only once with Mexico scoring the win.
Cameroon vs Croatia: The two teams never met before

The key players

Samuel Eto'o remains the world-class threat up front, although the charismatic figure, who still serves as captain, has gone in and out of the team. But even without the Chelsea veteran, the side if loaded with experience and high-level talent. Nicolas N'Koulou, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Aurelien Chedjou remain vital at the back, while the midfield is even more loaded with Alex Song, Jean Makoun and Stephane Mbia at the heart of the team.

Coach: Volker Finke

Best performances in a FIFA competition: FIFA World Cup Italy 1990 (Quarter-finals), Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Sydney 2000 (Winners)

Former stars: Roger Milla, Marc-Vivien Foe, Rigobert Song
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Springboks to miss Rugby Championship in Australia

The Springboks, who beat England in the World Cup final last November, now face the prospect of no Test match rugby until they host the British and Irish Lions in Soweto next July

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The Springboks, who haven't played since winning the World Cup in Japan last year, blamed government travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns for their withdrawal.

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Cameroon's Choupo-Moting scores on Bayern debut

The 31-year-old quit French champions PSG earlier this month. He scored in the 24th and 75th minutes

Cameroonian forward Eric Choupo Moting scored twice on his debut as Bundesliga and European champions Bayern beat Düren Merzenichin the German Cup.

The Cameroon international combined well with French-born Senegalese forward Bouna Sarr, who also arrived at Allianz Arena this summer, to open the scoring in the 24th minute.

Thomas Mueller scored a penalty in the 36th-minute. Choupo-Moting then made it 3-0 with a superb strike on 75 minutes.

The 31-year-old quit French champions PSG earlier this month.

The win sent Bayern Munich through to the second round of the German Cup.

The Bundesliga champions were missing many of their biggest stars - including Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski - due to international call-ups.

But with the likes of Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez in the starting eleven, their was still way too much quality and experience in Hansi Flick's side.

Ghana trounces Qatar in international friendly

Arsenal’s newly signed midfielder Thomas Partey created two assists and Swansea City forward Andre Ayew scored a brace

Ghana's Black Star's compensated for their 3-0 loss to Mali by beating Asian champions Qatar 5-1 in a friendly played in Turkey on Monday.

Jordan Ayew, Tariqe Fosu, Samuel Owusu and Caleb Ekuban were all on target as Ghana humiliated a sluggish Qatari side.

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Lakers overcome Miami Heat to win 17th NBA title

LeBron James was also named Finals MVP for the fourth time unanimously, becoming the first player in NBA history to earn NBA Finals MVP with three different teams. Only Michael Jordan has more with six.

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The title is the 17th for the franchise and the fourth for their star player LeBron James.

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Difficult start for Black Stars boss CK Akonnor

Mali and Ghana played a dynamic but friendly football match.

A Dynamic But Friendly Match

Ghana faced Mali on Friday evening in a friendly match, with the Black Stars defeated 3-0.

Appointed in january this year, Charles Kwabla Akonnor and his technical staff sat for the first time on the Ghana NT bench. Their first 90 mins of competitive football have been very long and especially poor.

Three players made difficult debuts with the national team : France-born Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg) and England-born Tariqe Fosu (Brentford). Israel-based winger Eugene Ansah was the third debutant in Akonnor's first XI :

Lawrence Ati Zigi-Tariqe Fosu, Nicholas Opoku, Kasim Adams, Gideon Mensah-Bernard Mensah, Alexander Djiku, Thomas Partey-Eugene Ansah, Jordan Ayew, Andre Ayew

During second half, Nordsjaelland teenager Kamaldeen Sulemana and Amiens midfielder Emmanuel Lomotey both made their debuts as substitutes.

Young Stars & Sharp Eagles, one way duel

Mali's right back, Hamari Traore, scored only two minutes into the game as he dribbled circles around the Black Stars defence and outplayed Lawrence Ati-Zigi.

Mohamed Magassouba's boys widened the gap in the second half with El Bilal Touré, 19 years old, first appearance, scoring a perfectly executed header and Amadou Haidara driving the nail into the coffin fifteen minutes to the end of the game.

The long-range striker from Arsenal's new recruit Thomas Partey, did not do much damage throughout the game as Ghana also remained harmless.

A poor performance which demonstrate how much work former Black Stars midfielder CK Akonnor has ahead of him.

Ghana will now play 2022 FIFA World Cup host Qatar, still in Antalya.
The Black Stars will then play Sudan next month in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.