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Can An African Team Emerge 2020 Tokyo Olympics Soccer Champion?

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The debate and uncertainty among sports lovers have come to an end with the kickoff of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Now, the attention has shifted to which country will win the most medals. The colorful flags of countries from all over the world are set to wave at the prestigious soccer tournament. Obviously, plenty of exhilarating soccer moments await. Nelson Mandela once said, Sport has the power to change the world”—and we can see why.

The long wait for soccer glory by Africans, ended in Atlanta, USA in 1996 when Nigeria won the gold medal. The next Olympics was even more dramatic Cameroon won the gold in Sydney, Australia in 2000 through a nail-biting penalty shootout. Since then, there have been close encounters. Nigeria won silver in Beijing in 2008. However, the female African sides are yet to make it to the semi-finals. Will an African team cause an upset at the Tokyo Olympics? It is a matter of days for us to find out.

Nigeria winning the Olympics soccer in 1996

Nigerian Super Eagles celebrating after winning the 1996 Olympic soccer gold (Photo credit: Goal.com)

African Soccer Teams That Will Feature At Tokyo Olympics 2020

For the Tokyo Olympics Soccer fixtures, the Zambia female team will represent Africa. Likewise, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and South Africa will be representing Africa in the male soccer category. With the different African teams fielding young and experienced talents, we anticipate plenty of exciting soccer at the Tokyo Olympics. The male countries representing the African continent are not new to the Olympic Games. However, for the female Zambian side, this will be their maiden Olympic Games tournament. Zambian captain, Barbra Banda expresses her excitement,

“We are so happy as a team to represent the continent. It feels great because we worked so hard for it. I know we have a good team.”

Zambian soccer team

Zambian soccer team (Photo credit: ZamFoot)

Profile Of African Teams That Will Be At Tokyo Olympic 2020

What do you know about the African soccer teams that will represent Africa at Tokyo Olympic 2020? Well, it will be hard to say if a team will be successful or not without knowing the team and their stats. While we have our expectations, we want to help you to set yours.

Zambia

Zambian Captain Barbra Banda

Zambian Captain Barbra Banda (Photo credit: Goal.com)

This is Zambia’s maiden Olympic Games soccer tournament. The Zambian women’s soccer side has overcome intense African opposition and is extremely proud to be at the Tokyo Olympic Games. They were seeded in a group consisting of favorites Brazil, China, and European soccer giants, the Netherlands. Zambia has a mountain to climb to qualify for the knockout stages. Yet, as we know, anything is possible in the game of soccer.

 

Player to watch

Captain fantastic, Barbra Banda, will be the force behind the Zambian attack. The Zambian goal-scoring machine will be the individual who will play with her heart on her sleeve at the Tokyo Olympic tournament. Currently playing professional soccer in the Chinese Super League for Shanghai Shengli, Banda brings the ideal experience for this up-and-coming African soccer side. However, with the Zambian side not being as experienced as the group opponents, the experience from Tokyo Olympics will hopefully build a platform for greater opportunities as it’s unlikely Zambia can emerge from the group.

Egypt

Egypt Soccer Team Celebrates Tokyo Games Qualification

Egypt Soccer Team Celebrates Tokyo Games Qualification (Photo credit: KingFut)

Having never been shy of performing on big soccer stages, Egypt will make its twelfth appearance at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Egypt’s first appearance in this tournament dates as far back as 1920, the Antwerp Olympic Games in Belgium. They last made it to the semi-finals back in 1928. But, will the Tokyo Games see Egypt make it all the way? Before we fall heads over heels on this idea, Egypt needs to make it out of a really tough group. They are drawn against Argentina, Spain, and Australia. No doubt, the AFCON U23 2019 champions are capable of upsetting some of the more prestigious soccer nations at this tournament. However, they will need to play with all their hearts beating as one.

Player to watch

Ramadan Sobhi carries the hope for the Egyptian attack at the Olympic soccer tournament. After winning the 2019 CAF U23 African Cup of Nations for Egypt, forward Ramadan Sobhi will be the in-form striker for the Pharaohs at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Ramadan Sobhi was the best player of the 2019 CAF U23 tournament and will hopefully guide Egypt to victory.

Ivory Coast

Team Ivory Coast during a training session

Team Ivory Coast during a training session (Photo credit: Goal.com)

Ivory Coast’s best and only Olympic performance to date was in Beijing 2008 where they made it to the quarter-finals. In this Tokyo Olympic game, Les Éléphants was drawn against Germany, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. What seems like a mountain to climb may not be as tough as once thought. The Ivorian squad boasts quality international players such as Manchester United duo, Eric Bailey and Ismael Diallo. Also, Milan midfielder, Franck Kessie will offer plenty of experience for the side.

Player to watch

AC Milan midfielder, Franck Kessié, will be the game-change for the Ivory Coast Olympic team. Although this solid midfielder Kessie is only twenty-four years old, his national performances rank him among some of the top players worldwide. His 2019 AFCON performances saw this Ivorian winning joint-top assists in the tournament. Although this Ivorian side has plenty of tough challenges ahead of them in the group stages, with the experience in this young side, there is a firm belief Ivory Coast can go for their first soccer Olympic gold.

South Africa

South African key player for Tokyo Games

South African key player for Tokyo Games (Photo credit: SowetanLIVE)

This will be South Africa’s third Olympic soccer participants. However, the African side has a clear goal of making it out of the group stages. The South African team, better known as “Amaglug-glug” face off against fierce opposition such as Japan, France, and Mexico. South Africa qualified for the Tokyo Olympic games by coming third in the CAF’s qualifying tournament in 2019. Their first fixture will be against tournament hosts, Japan. Nonetheless, loyal African supporters hope to see a win.

Player to watch

Tercious Malepe lays the solid foundation for the South African soccer side on the field. Currently playing his club soccer in Ukraine, the young defender dominated in the South African league before his abroad move. The South African side is known for its free-flowing soccer. Also, the firm defender assures the African side has surety at the back. Unlike previous tournaments, the South African side has had major setbacks in preparations. Consequently, it will take something special for them to progress beyond the group stages. The picture will be clearer after their first game.

Conclusion

We have yet to see an African women’s side advance from their group at the Olympics. Perhaps, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will see the setting of new records. For the men, Egypt and Ivory Coast have a high chance of progressing into the quarter-finals. Will either of those sides bring home the gold for the African continent? It is hard to tell at the moment. However, we will continue to keep you updated as the tournament progress. Which time are you rooting for? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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