[WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: Africa] The same five African teams that went through qualifying to join South Africa at the 2010 World Cup will be playing in Brazil. Bob Bradley's reign as Egypt ended with a 2-1 win over Ghana, but it was hardly enough to make up for the 6-1 loss on the road. Algeria was the only team to overcome a first-leg deficit, winning on away goals after its 1-0 win at home canceled out a 3-2 loss at Burkina Faso.
Africa Five (World Cup appearances):
7 Cameroon (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)
5 Nigeria (1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014)
4 Algeria (1982, 1986, 2010, 2014)
3 Ghana (2006, 2010, 2014)
3 Ivory Coast
(2006, 2010, 2014)
The great mystery of the Egyptian qualifying campaign will be how the Pharaohs could have played so badly in the first leg -- the only one of eight qualifiers
they didn't win -- yet deservedly beat Ghana in the second leg in Cairo.
A goal by Amr Zaki in the 23rd minute gave Egypt hope that it might
perhaps chop away at Ghana's five-goal lead, but the second goal from Mohamed Nagy didn't come until the late in the
game. Kevin-Prince Boateng's goal in stoppage time made the aggregate score 7-3.
Egypt overcame numerous obstacles -- most notably, the closure of
the national league in the aftermath of the death of dozens of fans at a league match in Port Said in February 2012 -- to make the final round of qualifying. Unlike the other major African soccer
nations, Egypt does not mostly rely on European-based players so the cancellation of the national league had a big impact on the national team.
Bradley kept the team in training and found
friendly matches to keep the players active. This summer's military coup to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi divided the team.
Such was the tension surrounding the team that Tuesday's postgame press conference was canceled.
Egyptian Football Association chairman Gamal
Allam said his organization would hire an Egyptian to replace Bradley.