Four years ago, in Russia, where Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal had gone out in the first round, Africa will have at least two, and perhaps three, representatives in the next round.
Morocco finished at the top of its group F, which was very tough with the Croatian vice-champions of the world and the Belgians, as it had done in 1986 in front of Portugal and England.
The last African team to have managed to take first place in a group was Nigeria in 1998.
It is joined by Senegal, which recovered from Sadio Mané’s injury just before the start of the competition and a frustrating opening loss to the Netherlands (2-0).
Tunisia, who beat a reshuffled France (1-0) for the last day of Group D, came close, but Ghana, second in Group H before facing Uruguay, could also pass the first round, while the mission will be more complicated for Cameroon, facing Brazil.
Africa has had more than two teams in the World Cup round of 16.