World Cup 2018: The African Teams Depart Early

For the first time since 1982, no African team has advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup. Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Senegal have all been eliminated. The three North African teams were out before playing their final matches; Nigeria and Senegal went into their last group-stage games this week carrying both momentum and hope for a continent that has yet to see one of its teams advance beyond the quarter-finals in the eighty-eight year history of the tournament.

Nigeria’s final match, on Tuesday, was against Argentina, which had, to that point, looked like a shadow of itself. Following two dreadful performances, Lionel Messi, perhaps the greatest player in the world, scored a stunning goal early on, but the Nigerians levelled the game a few minutes after halftime, on a…

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