by John Mendy
The eight nations that will compete in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana are now known as defending African champions, Nigeria return to hunt for their 9th continental title.
It’s been a thrilling contest on the continent over the last two months and the Super Falcons, who crushed Gambia in the final round of qualifiers 7-0 on aggregate, will play alongside South Africa, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Algeria and Mali at this year’s finals along with the hosts, Ghana.
While Nigeria’s Super Falcons hammered the Queen Scorpions of the Gambia, 2016 finalists Cameroon, also sealed their place after they romped Congo 10-0 on aggregate.
Two-time winners Equatorial Guinea qualified with more hard work after they overturned a 2-1 first leg deficit to defeat Kenya by two unreplied goals at home and progress 3-2 on aggregate.
South Africa overwhelmed Lesotho 6-0 in Bloemfontein to book their place with a 7-0 aggregate win.
Mali and Zambia got the edge over Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe respectively on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw over two legs.
Algeria will be the only North African representatives at the finals this year after beating Ethiopia 6-3 on aggregate.
The 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations is scheduled for November 17 to December 1 with Accra and Cape Coast as host cities.
Final Round Results and qualified teams:
- Cameroon 5-0 Congo Brazzaville (Cameroon go through 10-0 on aggregate)
- Equatorial Guinea 2-0 Kenya (Equatorial Guinea go through 3-2 on aggregate)
- Zimbabwe 1-2 Zambia (Tie ends 2-2 on aggregate. Zambia go through on away goals)
- Ethiopia 2-3 Algeria (Algeria go through 6-3 on aggregate)
- South Africa 6-0 Lesotho (South Africa go through 7-0 on aggregate)
- Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast (Tie ends 2-2 on aggregate. Mali go through on away goals)
- Nigeria 6-0 The Gambia (Nigeria go through 7-0 on aggregate)
The following eight teams qualify for the final tournament.
|Algeria||5th||Sixth place (2004)|
|Cameroon||13th||Runners-up (1991, 2004, 2014, 2016)|
|Equatorial Guinea||5th||Champions (2008, 2012)|
|Ghana (hosts)||12th||Runners-up (1998, 2002, 2006)|
|Mali||7th||Fifth place (2006, 2016)|
|Nigeria||13th||Champions (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2016)|
|South Africa||12th||Runners-up (1995, 2000, 2008, 2012)|
The tournament also doubles as Africa’s qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France. Three top African teams emerging from the 2018 event will qualify as Africa’s representatives in the showpiece event.