By Johnny Edward.
Records tumble at every World Cup edition but so far at the ongoing Qatar 2022 tournament, Nigeria’s record at the Mundial remains intact despite failing to qualify for the tournament, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Morocco is currently Africa’s best performers at the tournament having reached the semi-finals of the competition, however, after they lost 2-1 to Croatia in the third place match on Saturday, they have not matched the Super Eagles win and goals record in the history of the tournament.
The Eagles who made their debut appearance at the 1994 World Cup in the USA still holds the record for the highest number of victories and most goals scored by an African team at the tournament.
The Eagles have played 21 games two fewer than Morocco (23) at the football biggest showpiece recording six wins, they also have the highest number of goals (23) at the tournament so far.
Prior to this tournament, Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal were regarded as Africa’s best performers at the tournament having reached the quarter-finals of the competition.
The Atlas Lions who have featured in six editions of the World Cup have recorded five wins losing 11 games and drawing seven games.
Morocco, Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal are one win away from equaling Nigeria’s winning record at the World Cup while the Indomitable Lions are also a goal shy of the Eagles’ scoring feat.
At the 1994 World Cup, the three-time African Champions recorded a 3-0 victory over Bulgaria in their opening game but lost 2-1 to an inspired Diego Maradona’s Argentina.
They bounced back in their final group game at the Foxboro Stadium to beat Greece 2-0 thanks to goals from Finidi George and Daniel Amokachi.
They bowed out of the tournament losing by the same scoreline to Italy in the round of 16.
At the 1998 edition in France, the Eagles led by Bora Milutinovic defied the odds to beat Spain 3-2 in their opening game and went on to edge Bulgaria 1-0 in their second group game to advance to the next round with a game to spare.
However, they lost that game to Paraguay 3-1 and went on to lose 4-1 to Denmark in the knockout stages.
The 2002 edition saw the Eagles fail to win a game. The team led by Adegboye Onigbinde lost by a lone goal to Argentina, 2-1 to Sweden before holding England to a goalless draw in their final group game.
Having missed out on the 2006 edition to Angola, the Eagles bounced back to qualify for the first-ever World Cup on African soil in 2010 but they failed to surpass their poor record of 2002 where they recorded only one point.
Again, they suffered back-to-back losses to Argentina and Greece before holding South Korea to a 2-2 draw in their final group game which confirmed their exit.
But it was at the 2014 edition in Brazil that the Eagles reached the last 16 for the third time in their history.
A draw against Iran in their opening group game was followed by a nervy 1-0 win over Bosnia in their second game was enough to secure a Round of 16 clash against France who won the tie 2-0.
The 2018 edition in Russia saw the Eagles record their sixth victory at the tournament. They bounced back from a 2-0 opening loss to Croatia to defeat Iceland 2-0 but they lost their final group game to Argentina by a lone goal.
Originally Posted By Punch Sports Extra