By Tony Ubani
The four African teams in the men’s football event of the 2012 London Olympics will make their last-ditch attempt to reach the quarter-finals of the competition Wednesday, when they play their last group matches.
Egypt will face Belarus, Gabon are up against North Korea, while Morocco take their chances against a wounded Spanish side.
Of the four African representatives, only Senegal who tackle United Arab Emirate have the best chance of advancing to the last eight, having won one match and drawn one to grab 4 points and stay in second place in group A, behind host Great Britain with the same number of points but superior goals aggregate.
Egypt, which has lost one match and drawn one, also has a bright chance to advance, if it beats Belarus, currently second in group C on 3 points, compared to Egypt’s 1 point.
Gabon, which has lost one match and drawn one in group B, faces an uphill task against North Korea, which has won one match and drawn one for a total of four points.
And Morocco, sitting third in group D with only one point, will have to contend with a wounded Spain, which has lost its two matches so far.
Africa has won two men’s football gold medals at the Olympics, with Nigeria clinching the gold at Atlanta ’96 and Cameroon following suit at Sydney 2000.
The 2012 Olympics marks the first time Africa is featuring four teams in the men’s football event at the four-yearly Olympics.