Which African nation will go furthest on home continent soil?
With all the African teams having played their opening round of matches, a new market – African team to progress furthest – has opened up ranking their potential.
Here we assess each nation’s chance of success in the continent’s first World Cup.
Ghana – 11/8
An Asamoah Gyan penalty ensured a 1-0 scoreline against a hitherto fancied Serbia team and he has a proven tournament scoring record – having bagged the winners in Ghana’s quarter-final and semi-final matches at this year’s African Cup of Nations. Germany will probably prove too hot to handle but it seems assured they will progress to the last 16 where England should lie in wait.
Prediction: Second-round exit (8/11)
Ivory Coast – 3/1
An uninspiring 0-0 draw with second-place rivals Portugal failed to demonstrate the best of the Elephants’ talents with his strength Didier Drogba could prosper against North Korea’s defence. Because of this they could well get through the group but Spain should prove unstoppable in the round of 16.
Prediction: Second-round exit
Nigeria – 3/1
Have goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to thank for only a 1-0 defeat to Argentina and qualification could come down to goal difference. South Korea looked very tidy in their defeat of Greece, though, and with goals and points already in the bag should nudge second place.
Prediction: Group stage exit (8/15)
South Africa – 5/1
The host nation were a whisker away from beating a good Mexico team in the opening match and, with a fervent home support, could well go on a South Korea-style run. In Carlos Alberto Parreira they have a manager who has taken a team the whole way while Katlego Mphela has goals in him. South Africa could beat Uruguay and draw with France, potentially leaving them top of Group A with five points.
A last-16 tie with Group B’s second-place team is winnable but a potential quarter-final against England would prove too much.
Prediction: Quarter-final exit (8/1)
Cameroon – 14/1
A surprise defeat to Group E’s lowest-ranked side Japan seems to have ended Cameroon’s World Cup early. Samuel Eto’o looked justifiable sulky playing on the wing instead of his preferred centre-forward role and the whole side lacked any verve.
Prediction: Group stage exit (1/8)
Algeria – 66/1
Algeria lived up to their reputation for unpredictability by succumbing 1-0 to Slovenia but in truth they looked witless all over the pitch. Abdelkader Ghezzal’s pointless red card summed up their display and former player Ali Benarbia today called them “toothless”. Expect two more defeats to be dished out to the Desert Foxes.
Prediction: Group stage exit (1/100)
See the full African team to progress the furthest market.