Stephen Appiah identifies Africa's World Cup problem in Russia

Stephen Appiah of Ghana
The two-time World Cup participant reflects on the continent's woes at this year's championship

Ghana's 2006 World Cup star Stephen Appiah says shortfalls in some technicalities of the game contributed to Africa's poor showing at this year's event in Russia

Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia all failed to advance beyond the group stage, a situation which ranks as the continent's worst performance since 1982.

“I think African countries must lift up their game at the World Cup," Appiah said. 

"It's not good if all our participants are eliminated at the group stage - not encouraging at all.

“We're lacking in some technical aspects."

Africa's best performance since debuting at the World Cup in 1934 remains quarterfinal berths by Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana in 1990, 2002 and 2010 respectively.

"Nigeria were six minutes away from making it to the next stage but they could not delay time and stood there for Argentina to score," Appiah continued.

"Belgium resorted to technical time delay against Brazil in the final six minutes when the heat was on them. 

"They always located Hazard who stood on the ball and drew fouls just to kill time, it's about time we learn some of these things."

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Appiah, who captained Ghana at the 2006 campaign, was part of the team that made it to the last eight in South Africa four years later. 

Currently technical coordinator of the Black Stars, the former Juventus midfielder will hope to help Kwesi Appiah's side return to the showpiece at Qatar 2022, having failed to qualify for this year's gathering.