Race to Namibia Reaches Final Lap

The qualifiers for the 9th African Women’s Championship, Namibia 2014 reaches the final lap this weekend with first leg of the second round.

African champions, Equatorial Guinea, six-time champions, Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon for the first time join the campaign for the battle for the seven spots for the final tournament later in the year in Namibia.

Dicey away duels await the big guns of women’s football on the continent in this weekend’s penultimate matches of the qualifiers.

The Equatoguineans will face a tricky test in Abidjan on Friday against ‘Les Elephantes’ of Cote d’Ivoire. Nzalang Nacional, now handled by Argentine Esteban Becker will be banking on the availability of captain Genoveva Anonma, who played an influential role for her German club, Turbine Potsdam, which reached the last four of the UEFA Women’s Champions League before bowing out to fellows, VfL Wolfsburg.

Realising the tall mountain before them, the Ivorians wrapped up their preparation for the clash with a training camp in Algiers, Algeria last week where they engaged their hosts in two friendly games.

South Africa new coach Vera Pauw, will have her real first taste of African football with a trip to Mitsamiouli as guests of Comoros. The Banyana Banyana suffered a lone goal loss to Ghana’s Black Queens in Johannesburg last Sunday, but Pauw believes the match served a good test for her team ahead of the clash with the Islanders. Just like South Africa, it will be the first game for Comoros after Mozambique withdrew from the previous round.

At the Omar Hamadi Stadium in Algiers, Algeria will be up against Tunisia in an all-North African affair, for the single slot allotted the Northern zone.

On Saturday, the Super Falcons will be welcomed to the Stade Regional de Nyamirambo in Kigali by the She-Wasps of Rwanda. Nigeria coach Edwin Okon is upbeat his charges will scale over their opponents after an impressive display by his team against Cameroon in a friendly last week, which the Falcons won 1-0.

Elsewhere in Ziguinchor, the Teranga Lionesses of Senegal will face the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, to see who roars the loudest.

On Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will face Ghana whilst Zimbabwe and neighbours Zambia lock horns at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare.

The return leg will take place on the weekend of 6-8 June 2014 with seven teams emerging to join hosts Namibia for the final tournament from 11-24 October, also a qualifier for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next year.

Fixtures

Friday, 23 May 2014

Algeria vs Tunisia

Cote d’Ivoire vs Equatorial Guinea

Comoros vs South Africa

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Rwanda vs Nigeria

Senegal vs Cameroon

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Ethiopia vs Ghana

Zimbabwe vs Zambia

Source : Confederation of African Football