Russia 2018 was the worst World Cup for Africa in 36 years as no side from the continent progressing through to the knockout stage for the first time since 1982.
Since Algeria and Cameroon exited the group stage in 1982, at least one country from the continent always made it to the knockout stage until 2018.
The quintet of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria and Senegal landed in Russia with the mission to emulate, or surpass, the three African teams that have reached the quarter-finals – Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).
For Egypt, it was their first appearance in the World Cup for 28 years. Morocco were part of it after a 20-year gap while Tunisia last qualified in 2006.
Nigeria were making their sixth appearance and Senegal returned for the first time since their feats in 2002.
Within two weeks, all five were heading home. So what went wrong for the African teams in Russia?
“Nothing. This was just a weak batch. I’m sure better days are ahead,” journalist and African football expert Mark Gleeson told Al Jazeera.
“I don’t believe there’s a big crisis but at the moment there’s a lack of talent in African football,” he said.
Continental giants Egypt lost all three group matches, while Morocco managed a single point courtesy a draw against Spain.
Senegal grabbed four points from their first two group games after beating Poland and drawing with Japan.
But the Teranga Lions became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated because of their disciplinary record in Russia.
Source: Alhassan Johnson Afedzie