Five African football teams have made it to Russia this summer. They are all strong teams but they have even stronger opponents to face in the playfield. No African team has ever reached the semifinals of the World Cup ever – this year, things might be different. But there are enough obstacles – opposing teams – to overcome for them to go beyond the threshold fate seems to have put in front of Africa’s strongest football teams for years before the 2018 World Cup.
If you think of a bet on the Super Eagles online with Betway this summer, chances are it will be successful. The Nigerian team has won one of its two matches so far – it has the second best standing in its group, with Croatia leading (it won two of its games so far, one of them against the Super Eagles).
The team the Super Eagles have to face today (at the time this article was written, the team had a few hours left before stepping into the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg) has always been considered one of the stronger ones but it has underperformed at the World Cup so far: Argentina. The team, led by football legend Lionel Messi, has faced Iceland and Croatia so far: it only managed to achieve a draw (1-1) with the Nordic team and lost with a humiliating score (3-0) to Croatia. Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel is confident that his team can reach at least a draw against the Argentinian team today, ensuring its advancement to the Round of 16.
The stakes are high for Argentina’s national football team and Lionel Messi himself: after two matches that were, let’s just say, far from ideal, dropping out of Group D may mean the end of Messi’s international career.
The Super Eagles seem to be the last hope for an African team to reach the Round of 16 – and perhaps the semifinals – this year. After two losses and a draw against Spain, the Morocco national team is headed out of the competition. Egypt has also lost all its matches so far – it was beaten by host Russia, Uruguay, and Saudi Arabia. Tunisia lost both its games played so far, being beaten by England and Belgium – it is still above Panama in its group but only by goal difference. The situation of Senegal is ambiguous at this point, with one match won against Poland, and a draw against Japan, heading to face Colombia in the playfield today.
Even if Argentina manages to beat the Super Eagles today, the team might still be knocked out of the competition if Iceland defeats Croatia. It remains to be seen, I guess…