The 12th edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Morocco on July 2nd.
Africa’s four qualifiers for next year’s Women’s World Cup will be decided in the tournament, which culminates in the final on Saturday 23 July.
Here, BBC Sport Africa runs the referee for Group B, which includes Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia and newcomers Togo.
Sunday 3 July: Cameroon – Zambia, Tunisia – Togo (Casablanca)
Wednesday 6 July: Zambia – Tunisia, Togo – Cameroon (Casablanca)
Saturday 9th July: Cameroon – Tunisia (Casablanca), Zambia – Togo (Rabat)
|appearance: twelveth||Best achievement: Runners-up (2004, 2014, 2016)|
|Fitness Trainer: Gabriel Szabo||Team captain: Gabriel Onegin|
|FIFA Ranking: 54||nickname: Indomitable lionesses|
Besides Nigeria and South Africa, Cameroon is the only team to have competed in every Women’s Nations Cup (WAFCON), and the Indomitable Lionesses – Africa’s second-highest team – will be keen to improve to third place four years later. Ago.
Coach since last year, Gabriel Szabo has a good mix of local and foreign professionals, with notable talents Inter Milan striker Agara Ngoya Nchot, 29, Gotham FC defender Estelle Johnson, Floni Mifometo of Floni 91 and CSKA Moscow star, and captain of Cameroon. , Gabriel Onegin.
The three-time runner-up is again among the candidates and will be eager to get Third consecutive appearance at the Women’s World Cup After reaching the second round in the previous two tournaments.
However, 19 of the squad will make their WAFCON debuts, including Johnson, two players in Nigeria’s premier league and six in Cameroon itself.
Besides jinxing their title in Morocco, Cameroon will have a chance of revenge when they meet Zambia, who have put their dream on hold in Tokyo 2020, in a showdown likely to determine the group winner.
Qualification was secured upon subduing CAR (3-0g) before overtaking Gambia (10-1g).
|appearance: Third||Best achievement: Group stage (2014 and 2018)|
|Fitness Trainer: Bruce Mwape||Team captain: Barbara Panda|
|FIFA Ranking: 103||nickname: copper queens|
With their strong attacking streak and offensive line, Zambia – who have qualified for the World Cup finals for the third time in the last four attempts – have become an emerging giant killer in African women’s football.
In the past four years, the Copper Queens have racked up big victories on African weightlifting, stunned Cameroon in qualifying to win their first Olympic ticket in 2020 and upset seven-time winner South Africa for bronze at last year’s COSAFA Women’s Cup.
Zambia has won just one of six matches in the WAFCON Finals, but under Bruce Mwape, who was appointed in 2018, the team has impressed with attacking football as well as displaying some future stars at the Olympics.
Among them is Barbara Banda, the first female soccer player To score a hat-trick twice In one of the Olympics and was the former Chinese Women’s Super League top scorer, 2020 African Olympic qualifiers top scorer Grace Chanda, as well as Turkey-based duo Mizuzi Zulu and goalkeeper Hazel Nali.
The Zambians overcame their South African neighbors Malawi (4-3) and Namibia (by two away goals after a 1-1 draw on the field) to qualify, and are hoping to be lucky for a third time when it comes to being jinxed in the group stage. Carrot’s first World Cup ticket follows their first Olympic experience.
|appearance: Second||Best achievement: Group Stage (2008)|
|Fitness Trainer: Samir Landulsi||Team captain: Shaima Abbasi|
|FIFA Ranking: 72||nickname: Carthage eagles|
A return to the tournament after a previous singles appearance in 2008 is a huge leap forward for women’s football in Tunisia, with their team ranked fourth in Morocco with the two top-ranked Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire failing to qualify.
North Africa’s starts were promising enough, as they tied with tournament giants Nigeria along with narrow defeats to Ghana and South Africa, two other of the continent’s strongest teams over the years.
The dream and make up It was largely achieved after the return of Samir Landolci last year, who led Tunisia to the World Cup finals 14 years ago and is now in his fourth stint as head coach.
The Carthage Eagles are hoping to ride as much as possible, with lively ALG Spor striker Maryam Houij, who scored six goals in the qualifiers, and expecting French striker Ella Kabashi and Excelsior striker Sabrine Lozi to be key players.
They beat Egypt (7-2g) before crushing two-time winner Equatorial Guinea (7-3g) to advance to qualification.
|appearance: beginners||Best achievement: not available|
|Chairman of the Technical Committee: Kai Tomiti||Team captain: Natalie Badat|
|FIFA Ranking: 118||nickname: Al-Bashq Ladies|
One of the four newcomers, Togo has been absent from international football for a long time – spending 11 years before returning for a regional tournament in 2018 – with the West African side only receiving a FIFA ranking this year.
Leading the Falcons is former international Kai Tomiti, who is one of three coaches at this year’s Finals, and despite taking charge in 2018, she has overseen the team’s transition for more than a decade.
The Togolese formation can upset any team as it is dominated by local players who have distinguished themselves greatly together and thus built a strong cohesion over the years.
Key to their success will be players from league champions Amis du Monde and some of Europe’s top professional players such as striker Avi Wiedico, whose team Ezor reached the French Cup final this year, and Turkey-based midfielder Takiato Yaya, and Talia Giss of AJ Auxerre.
To make their first appearance, Togo managed to win over Sao Tome and Principe, who withdrew after losing the first leg 5-0 at home, before winning the second-round double over Gabon, with a 2-1 victory.