HomeSportsHas an African side reached the World Cup semi finals before?

    Has an African side reached the World Cup semi finals before?

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    Morocco continued their incredible journey at the 2022 World Cup by beating Portugal in the quarter finals to reach the final four of the tournament.

    The Atlas Lions have excelled throughout the competition, winning Group F ahead of the likes of Croatia, Belgium and Canada before triumphing over Spain on penalties in the last 16.

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    Cheered on by African and Arab nations around the world, Morocco produced a wonderful display to beat Portugal 1-0 thanks to Youssef En-Nesyri’s strike and an enormous defensive effort led by goalkeeper Bono.

    Morocco’s success at the 2022 World Cup is historic. In reaching the semi finals, the Atlas Lions have become the first African and Arab team to make the final four in the competition’s storied history.

    Morocco (2022) – semi finals

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    FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022"Morocco v Portugal"
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    Morocco have created history / ANP/GettyImages

    Morocco showed their discipline in their opener against draw specialists Croatia, taking a point from a goalless draw before beating both Belgium and Canada.

    Walid Regragui’s side took on Spain in the last 16. After an even 120 minutes, Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed from the penalty spot before Achraf Hakimi ensured their progression to the semi finals.

    Another mammoth task awaited them in the quarter finals in Portugal. However, the Atlas Lions were not overawed by the occasion and took the lead when Youssef En-Nesyri capitalised on a defensive mess to head in.

    Portugal couldn’t respond, resulting in Morocco’s progression to the final four to achieve the best run from an African side in World Cup history. And it’s not over just yet.

    Cameroon (1990) – quarter finals

    Emile Mbouh Mbouh, Cyrille Makananaky, Louis Mfede, Stephen Tataw, Roger Milla

    Cameroon were led by Roger Milla at Italia ’90 / GERARD FOUET/GettyImages

    Cameroon only debuted at the World Cup as an independent nation in 1982, when they drew all three group games 0-0 and were eliminated early on. Eight years later, however, they enjoyed a memorable run to the quarter finals.

    Francois Omam-Biyik scored in a 1-0 opening win over Argentina before Roger Milla stole the show. Then 38, the striker came off the bench to score two late goals in the 2-1 victory over Romania before a 4-0 defeat to the Soviet Union.

    Cameroon went through as group winners and defeated Colombia in the last 16 after extra time, with Milla again scoring twice.

    They exited at the quarter-final stage after an all-time classic with England. David Platt had the Three Lions 1-0 up at half time but Emmanuel Kunde’s penalty and Eugene Ekeke’s strike put the Lions of Teranga ahead in the space of five second-half minutes.

    A Gary Lineker penalty forced extra time before the former Barcelona striker scored again from the spot to eliminate Senegal and take England into the semi finals.

    Senegal (2002) – quarter finals

    Members of the Senegal team celebrate after scorin

    Senegal famously beat France in 2002 / PATRICK HERTZOG/GettyImages

    Making the quarter finals is incredibly impressive on a first attempt and that’s what Senegal did in 2002.

    A famous 1-0 win over France courtesy of Papa Bouba Diop in their group opener helped Senegal finish second, behind Denmark and ahead of Uruguay and Les Bleus. They drew their last two group games, including a 3-3 belter with Uruguay.

    They faced Sweden in the last 16 and were 1-0 down in 11 minutes when Henrik Larsson struck, but Henri Camara equalised before half time and the game would go to extra time. The former Wolves and Wigan striker then netted a golden goal, taking them through to the quarters with the last kick of the game.

    However, they experienced just how cruel elimination via that method can be in the last eight, as Ilhan Mansiz ended the game four minutes into extra time with his goal.

    Ghana (2010) – quarter finals

    Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2010 - Quarterfinals - Ghana vs. Uruugay

    The 2010 World Cup ended in heartbreak for Ghana / Matthew Ashton/GettyImages

    Ghana reached the knockout stages of the World Cup at the first attempt in 2006. Their reward? A last 16 tie with Brazil. They weren’t successful that year as Ronaldo, Adriano and Ze Roberto all struck in a 3-0 defeat.

    2010 proved to be a memorable tournament for the Black Stars, though their quarter-final finish remains tinged by thoughts of what might have been.

    Two penalties from Asamoah Gyan helped Ghana pick up four points from their opening two games against Serbia and Australia before defeat to Germany saw them finish as group runners up.

    They needed extra time to see off the United States in the last 16. The two sides have faced each other four years earlier when Ghana won 2-1 and they would produce the same scoreline in Rustenburg. Extra time was required after goals from Kevin Prince-Boateng and Landon Donovan before Gyan netted the winner.

    Ghana faced Uruguay in the quarter finals. Sulley Muntari had his side 1-0 up but Diego Forlan’s effort saw the game go to extra time.

    A deep hatred for Luis Suarez came out of the tie as the former Barcelona striker batted away a goal-bound effort with his hands in extra time. He was sent off but celebrated Gyan’s before the South Americans triumphed 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

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