Doha, Qatar – African fans in the Qatari capital turned up their celebrations by a few notches on Monday evening after two high-scoring thrillers brought their teams closer to the round of 16 in the World Cup.
Cameroon started the party following a 3-3 draw against a tough Serbian side. Ghana joined in later with a 3-2 win over South Korea in a match that kept fans out of their seats until the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Africa was the theme of the night’s festivities at the FIFA Fan Festival where fans gather to watch matches and performances. Popular Nigerian singer Patoranking was the headline act who enthralled the crowd with some of his hit songs as performers from Kenya put on a dance show.
It was a double treat for fans who had been entertained by the football earlier that day.
Ghana supporters Ekow and Simone were at the Education City Stadium for the match against South Korea and said the atmosphere during the game was electric.
“We cheered, we cried, we laughed and when it was all over, we danced,” Ekow told Al Jazeera at the FIFA Fan Festival on Monday night. “It was perfect.”
Ekow said the performance of all African teams has shown that the continent needs more representation at the tournament, referring to how it only has five berths in the World Cup.
“At least four teams of Africa have a very good chance of going through, which shows that we are as good as European and South American teams,” he said.
Leading up to the last day of group-stage matches, all five teams from Africa have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages, starting Saturday. And they are no strangers to pulling off upsets and exceeding expectations.
Cameroon (1990), Ghana (2010) and Senegal (2002) have all previously progressed to the quarter-finals and this World Cup, their fans do not expect anything less from them.
Richard, a Senegalese fan, said he fully expects his side to beat Ecuador in their last group match today.
“Ecuador are good but Senegal have a history of beating good teams,” he said, referring to Senegal’s run at the 2002 tournament, where they beat defending champions France and drew against Denmark and Uruguay.
“Don’t call it an upset if we beat Ecuador. We deserve to go through.”