FIFA World Cup Today Matches


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In focus: FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (CAF Third Round)

In focus: FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (CAF Third Round)

Ghana: The Black Stars

The oldest national football club in Africa have never qualified for the senior FIFA World Cup until 2006. Ghana, however, have advanced for five straight Olympic Games football tournaments. In fact, in 1992, the side became the first African football team to win a medal at the Olympics finishing third. Additionally, Ghana players have emerged victorious in the Africa Cup of Nations four times (in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982).

 

In 2006, the side performed relatively impressive after defeating Czech and American contenders in the group stage before being eliminated by Brazil. In 2010, the Ghanaian players reached the quarter-finals and if not for a defeat via penalty kick shoot-out to Uruguay, the team could have been the first African side to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.

 

Now composed with a new brood of players—who are either young-and-energetic or experienced-and-skillful—Ghana are prepping for a much more massive stint next year, provided that they make a good run in the continental tournament.

 

Ivory Coast: The Elephants

Africa’s highest ranking national football team (as per FIFA report) have qualified to the World Cup twice: in 2006 Germany and in 2010 South Africa. While they are indeed a major threat in their own continent, Ivory Coast have never advanced past the group stage in the world’s top-level tournament, ranking only 19th and 17th in the occasions that were qualified. But the side remain positive that they will make a sturdier name soon, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

 

Ivory Coast vaunts some of the world’s most feared football prodigies, which include Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, and Gervinho, to name a few. With a strong will to expand their limits and make their presence known in the football world, the players are bulking up their faculties to win their every match, including an approaching CAF Third Round of eliminations.

 

Tunisia: Eagles of Carthage

The Tunisia national football team have already amassed four FIFA World Cup appearances, which started in 1978. However, the troupe are yet to get past the first round as all of their qualifications have ended in premature exit. In addition, they created history as the only African team to appear in both the 2002 and 2006 tournaments.

 

To date, Tunisia have won in only one World Cup match, which they did in Argentina in 1978 when they toppled Mexico 3-1 at opening-day. Since then, the side have never been able to advance in the higher stages of the competition, although decent draws have been obtained in some of their World Cup stints.

 

The last six months saw the Tunisian team win in three individual continental matches and draw in four. At the qualifying rounds on September 7, FIFA awarded Tunisia a 3–0 win against Cape Verde as a result of the opponents fielding a suspended player. The match originally finished 2–0 to Cape Verde.

 

Burkina Faso: The Stallions

Burkina Faso have yet to make an appearance in the FIFA World Cup, as the side were never truly lucky to secure a ticket to the highly coveted global tournament. However, they did make good impressions in the Africa Cup of Nations, finishing fourth in 1998 and reaching the finals this year.

 

Africa’s top scorer during qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Moumouni Dagano, is slated to provide strong pillar for the side’s main attacking department. Jonathan Pitroipa, Alain Traoré and Charles Kabore, meanwhile, are touted to reign supreme in the midfield; thanks to the prolific experience they picked up in Europe. The three brilliant players currently play for French clubs Stade Rennais and FC Lorient, and Russian squad FC Kuban Krasnodar, respectively.

 

The Burkinabés are emphasizing the value of a young crop—an advocacy they have been winning over for the past few years. This year, the team are looking forward to a magnificent qualifying stint and next year, hopefully, they aim to show the world that they can also be potential World Cup heroes.

 

(Featured photo: Ghana | Image source: fifa.com)

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