At the Qatar World Cup and most previous ones, countries from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have been the underdogs, with their counterparts from Europe and South America constantly emerging as the favorites.
All three Middle-Eastern countries that qualified for the world cup, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, have been eliminated from the tournament. if you want to know Why Brazil May Reach World Cup Finals, click here
South Korea and Japan were the only Asian countries in the tournament, and both are on the brink of elimination. South Korea suffered a massive blow after a 2-3 loss to Ghana.
Japan’s chances of proceeding to the knockout stages were slimmer when they lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.
With most underdogs out, the tournament may be slowly shaping up to the expectations. Predictions of many unless more African countries go through the knockout stages.
Will Morocco and Ghana join Senegal?
Despite losing their star player, Bayern Munich’s forward Sadio Mane, just days before the World Cup kicked off, Senegal is the only African team qualified for the Round of 16. This was after a much-deserved 2-1 win against a resilient Ecuador side, with Ismaila Sarr and Kalidou Koulibaly scoring for the defending African Champions.
So far, no African team has been eliminated, but Morocco and Ghana have better chances of proceeding than Tunisia and Cameroon.
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Morocco has been a tough matchup for teams in Group F. Their 2-0 win against Belgium on Sunday placed them second on the group’s table with four points, one point clear of Belgium. A draw against Canada tomorrow will see Morocco qualify for the knockouts, and a win will see them top the group if the leader, Croatia, loses to Belgium.
Ghana, on the other hand, based on its history, is faced with the traumatic task of beating Uruguay if at all they are to advance. The last time the Black Stars played the South Americans in an elimination World Cup game was in 2010 in South Africa.
This controversial match, Ghana’s chance to make history as the first African country to make it to the semi-finals in World Cup history, ended in Ghana losing 4-2 in penalty shootouts. They can advance if they beat Uruguay and Portugal wins against South Korea.
Tunisia and Cameroon
Tunisia, with just a single point and bottom of their group, is the team with the most challenging path, as they must beat the defending champions France in their best form, and at the same time, Denmark loses to Australia.
Cameroon, who earned their first point in an exciting draw against Serbia, is in a comparable situation as Brazil stands on its way to the next stage.