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2002 FIFA World Cup Draw Preview: Africa


The first of five 2002 FIFA World Cup Final Draw previews from U.S. Soccer follows. Today's preview features the five African qualifiers. Tomorrow the four Asian and three CONCACAF teams will be featured.  Media and fans can follow the Final Draw as it unfolds by logging on to the Philips DrawTracker on ussoccer.com, which will feature real-time updates of the event.

AFRICA

CAMEROON Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 38th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 1” (6-1-1; 14 GF, 4 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 5-3-2
World Cup final appearances: 5 – 1982 (17th), 1990 (7th), 1994 (22nd), 1998 (25th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 3-5-6
Record vs. USA: Never met
Manager: Robert Corfu (FRA)
Championship Honors: 2000 Olympic champions; 1984, 1988 & 2000 African Nations Cup champions
Key Players:  Rigobert Song (D, West Ham United), Lauren (M, Arsenal), Patrick Mboma (F, Parma)
Fast Facts: Making their fourth consecutive appearance in a World Cup and the most overall by any African nation (five) … Are the only African nation to advance to the tournament quarterfinals, doing so in Italy in 1990 (where they beat Argentina, Romania and Colombia before succumbing to England in the quarterfinals) … Roster will include many of the U-23 stars who shocked the world by winning the 2000 Olympic Soccer Tournament in Sydney, Australia. 

NIGERIA Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 40th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 2” (5-2-1; 15 GF, 3 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 8-2-3
World Cup final appearances: 3 – 1994 (9th), 1998 (12th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 4-4-0
Record vs. USA: 1-1-0; 5 GF, 5 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 3, Nigeria 2 in Foxboro, Mass.; June 11, 1995 (Harkes, Balboa, Jones; Okocha, Wasiu)
Manager: Amodu Shaibu (NGA)
Championship Honors: 1996 Olympic champions; 1980 & 1994 African Nations Cup champions
Key Players: Jay Jay Okocha (M, PSG), Nwankwu Kanu (F, Arsenal), Finidi George (M, Ipswich Town)
Fast Facts: Were led in qualifying by forward Victor Agali’s four goals … Among the most respected African soccer nations, they are making their third consecutive appearance in the World Cup … Finished in an impressive ninth place at the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. … Have previously won the African Nations Cup in 1980 and 1994. 

SENEGAL Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 67th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 3” (4-1-3; 14 GF, 2 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 7-1-3
World Cup final appearances: 1 – 2002
Overall Record in WC: First appearance
Record vs. USA: Never met
Manager: Bruno Metsu (SEN)
Key Players: Ousseinah Diouf (F, Lens), Pape Thiaw (F, Lausanne)
Fast Facts: Making their first appearance in a World Cup … One of four rookie nations in the 2002 tournament (China, Ecuador and Slovenia are the others) … The lowest ranked of the five African nations in the World Cup, they were the first to qualify by winning their group handily … The teams top scorer is Ousseinoh Diouf, who plays for Lens in French First Division.  

SOUTH AFRICA Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking:
34th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 5” (5-0-1; 10 GF, 3 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 6-4-4
World Cup final appearances: 2 – 1998 (24th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 0-1-2
Record vs. USA: 0-1-0; 0 GF, 4 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 4, South Africa 0 in Washington, D.C.; June 3, 2000 (Jones-2, Reyna, Stewart)
Manager: Carlos Queiroz (POR)
Championship Honors: 1996 African Nations Cup champions
Key Players: Phil Masinga (F, Bari), Mark Fish (D, Charlton)
Fast Facts: Making just their second appearance in the World Cup, the country just missed out on their quest to host the 2006 tournament … Best known for their return to the international stage in winning the 1996 African Nations Cup at home … The team is nicknamed “Bafana Bafana”, which means “the boys” in Zulu … Despite their success at other sports, it is football that is the true passion for the majority of South Africa's 43 million people. 

TUNISIA Profile:
Current FIFA World Ranking: 28th
2002 World Cup qualifying: Won Africa “Group 4” (6-0-2; 23 GF, 4 GA)
2001 Overall Record: 6-2-2
World Cup final appearances: 3 – 1978 (13th), 1998 (26th), 2002
Overall Record in WC: 1-3-2
Record vs. USA: 0-0-1; 1 GF, 1 GA
Most Recent Match vs. USA: USA 1, Tunisia 1 in Birmingham, Ala.; March 12, 2000 (Olsen; Kanzari)
Manager: None
Key Players: Ali Zitouni (F, Esperence), Zoubeir Baya (F, Besiktas)
Fast Facts: After a 20-year absence from the World Cup, they have now qualified for two consecutive World Cup tournaments … Although their group went to the wire in competition with Cote d'Ivoire, the team was undefeated in eight qualifying matches and had a plus-19 goal differential … Tunisia was led with 5 goals in qualifying by Besiktas forward Zoubeir Baya … Twice finished as African Nations Cup runners-up (1965 & 1996).


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