New African

Africa at the World Cup – interestin­g facts

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• None of the five teams that have qualified for this year’s finals in Qatar are debutants. Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia all made the last finals in Russia 2018, while Cameroon and Ghana’s last appearance­s were in 2014.

• Three of these sides have nicknames that involve lions. Senegal are the Lions of Teranga, Morocco are known as the Atlas Lions and Cameroon are the Indomitabl­e Lions.

• Cameroon are the continent’s most frequent visitors to the finals; this will be their ninth appearance. They are also the team with the most consecutiv­e appearance­s, four, running from 1990 to 2002.

• Cameroon became the first team to win a match with only nine players when they defeated Argentina 1-0 in 1990. One of those to see red was Andre Kana-Biyik, while his brother Francois Omam-Biyik scored the game’s only goal.

• Roger Milla of the Indomitabl­e Lions is the oldest scorer of any nation at the finals. He was 42 years 39 days when he netted in the 6-1 defeat to Russia at the 1994 World Cup.

• Of the teams to qualify more than once, Egypt are the only side not to taste victory, with a record of two draws and five defeats from their seven games.

• The Pharaohs, along with Norway hold the longest gap between successive appearance­s at the finals, 56 years.

After qualifying in 1934, it was 1990 before they returned.

• Many sets of brothers have played together on this stage but in 2010, KevinPrinc­e Boateng of Ghana was the first to face a sibling when he lined up against Jerome Boateng, who represente­d Germany. They would also face each other again four years later.

• Nigeria have won the most games at the finals, six and have reached the knockout stages more times than any other side, three – in 1994, 1998 and 2014. They have faced Argentina in five of the six World Cups they have played in, losing each time.

• Zaire had quite possibly the best- ever World Cup kit during their one and only appearance in 1974. They wore a green shirt with yellow trim and emblazoned on the front was a football and a leopard.

• Robert Song (Cameroon) became the first player to be sent off at two separate tournament­s, first against Brazil in 1994 and once more versus Chile four years later. The only other player to show this much indiscipli­ne? France’s Algeria-born Zinedine Zidane, who saw red in 1998 against Saudi Arabia, and then for his infamous head-butt in the 2006 final against Italy.

• Despite his penalty miss against Uruguay, Asamoah Gyan is still the continent’s most prolific goalscorer at the finals, with six goals.

• Egypt’s Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player in FIFA World Cup history when he appeared against Saudi Arabia in 2018, aged 45 years and 161 days, a game in which he saved a penalty.

• Algeria became the first African side to score more than three goals in a game when they defeated South Korea 4-2 in 2014.

• Nigeria’s Stephen Keshi became the first African manager to lead his team to the knockout stages when his home nation reached the round of 16 in 2014.

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