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African teams weigh up ahead of Qatar World Cup

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Morocco players celebrate. PHOTO/FRMF
  • All five African teams played in friendly matches in this window
  • This is the final window before teams name their squads
  • The World Cup kicks off in Qatar in November

All five African teams set to play at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November used the last available international friendly match window to weigh up ahead of the tournament, all seeking to play tough friendly matches to improve.

This is a summary of how each African country fared.


The Black Stars played two friendly matches, against Brazil which they lost and against Nicaragua, which they won on Tuesday. They were the only African team to pick a win on the final day of international friendly matches.

The Black Stars beat Nicaragua 1-0 on Tuesday night in the Spanish city of Lorca in their final build up match. Ghana dominated the game and should have won by a wider margin had they taken all their chances.

The solitary goal was scored by teen striker Abdul fatwu Isahaku who curled in a brilliant goal in the 34th minute of the match to hand the Black Stars a morale boosting victory.

For the Ghanaians the victory was a massive boost for them especially having been given a harsh reality check by global giants Brazil who beat them 3-0 earlier in in another friendly match.

The Seleccao scored through a Richarlison brace, adding on to an earlier goal by Marquinhos.

The two matches, over the past week for the Black Stars, have been important as they prepared to take on Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay in Group H at the World Cup.


The Senegalese were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow World Cup-bound Iran in Austria, having earlier beaten Bolivia 2-0. They were encouraging results for Aliou Cisse and his side as he looks to firm up the final pieces ahead of the World Cup.

An own goal by Morteza Pouraliganji gave Senegal the lead in their match against Iran but Sardar Azmoun restored parity moments later.

Earlier on, they had picked a valuable 2-0 win over the Bolivians. Boulaye Dia and Sadio Mane scored in the first half to secure the Teranga Lions victory at the Stade de la Source to maintain their impressive recent form.

Senegal will face hosts Qatar, Ecuador and the Netherlands in Group A of the World Cup.


The Atlas Lions played out to a goalless draw with Paraguay in a match played in Spain, having earlier on beat Chile 2-0 in results that will give new coach Walid Regragui confidence as he paces his final notes for Qatar.

These were also the first two matches for star striker Hakim Ziyech who returned to the national team after a self-imposed exile due to differences with the former coach.

Against Chile earlier on, Soufiane Boufal opened the scoring after converting a 66th minute penalty before Abdelhamid Sabiri sealed the victory with 12 minutes remaining to give the side a victory, and a winning start for Regragui in his first match in charge.

The North Africans will be confident when they play Croatia, Belgium and Canada in Group F at the World Cup.


The Carthage Eagles had a roygher international break as they were thrashed 5-1 by five-time world champions Brazil in a controversial match where a banana was thrown at striker Richarlison, sparking furious racism rage.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker scored the second goal in the 19th minute, adding on to an earlier opener by Barcelona’s Raphinha. Neymar added a second before halftime and Raphinha completed his brace, before Pedro wrapped up the win late in the second half.

Montasir Talbi scored Tunisia’s goal in the 18th minute tie the game 1-1 before Richarlison restored the lead for Brazil.

Tunisia had earlier on played against Comoros in France, winning 1-0 courtesy of Taha Khenissi’s goal.

The Carthage Eagles will play France, Australia and Denmark in Group D of the World Cup.


Cameroon ended their international break with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of South Korea to make it two defeats in two matches, a harsh reality check for coach Rigobert Song.

Totenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-min scored the only goal in the first-half with a well placed header.

They had earlier on suffered a defeat as they were beaten 2-0 by Uzbekistan with former France youth international Bryan Mbeumo making his debut for the Indomitable Lions.

Russia-based duo Hojimat Erkinov and Oston Urunov scored to help the Asians overcome the Africans at Goyang Stadium in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

The Indomitable Lions, the first African side to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, will play Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland in Group G of the global tournament.

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