With just one point from two games, Africa must pick up the pace in Qatar

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Morocco fans show their support at Souq Waqif  in Doha, Qatar, ahead of their team's fixture at the World Cup. Photo: Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images
Morocco fans show their support at Souq Waqif in Doha, Qatar, ahead of their team's fixture at the World Cup. Photo: Alex Livesey/Danehouse/Getty Images

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After Senegal’s 2-0 defeat to the Netherlands on Monday, Tunisia gave Africa some hope heading into the third set of action at the World Cup in Qatar.

The Eagles of Carthage holding off Denmark to a goalless draw for a crucial point on Tuesday night was a relief for the continent.

Meanwhile, the Lions of Teranga will have a chance to redeem themselves against the hosts on Friday.

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First, however, Africa’s other representatives must open their campaign as the 32-nation tournament gets into full swing.

Today, the attention will shift to Morocco, who face Croatia at noon, while Cameroon will follow on Thursday against Switzerland.

READ: Qatar World Cup timing is off the mark

Also on Thursday, the Black Stars of Ghana have a date with a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal.

Morocco vs Croatia:

This is the first encounter between Morocco and Croatia at a World Cup.

Their only previous meeting was in the Hassan II Trophy in December 1996, played in Casablanca. The game ended 2-2, producing three red cards. Croatia won 7-6 on penalties.

Croatia have won their two World Cup games against African opposition by an aggregate of 6-0 (4-0 vs Cameroon in 2014 and 2-0 vs Nigeria in 2018).

This will be Morocco’s sixth appearance at the World Cup, but they have not progressed past the group stage since 1986, when they were eventually eliminated by Germany in the last 16 (losing 1-0).

This is Croatia’s sixth World Cup appearance. In the previous five, they have either been eliminated in the group stages (three times) or at least reached the semifinals (twice, including the final in 2018).

Africa’s fixtures heading to the weekend:

Wednesday: Morocco vs Croatia, noon

Thursday: Switzerland vs Cameroon, noon;

                : Portugal vs Ghana, 6pm   

Friday: Qatar vs Senegal, 3pm



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