• Babajide EverBlazin

Women's World Cup: Behold, Africa's four representatives at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

African representatives at next year's FIFA Women's World Cup have emerged at the ongoing Women African Cup of Nations in Morocco.

They are the four teams who have progressed to the last four places at the WAFCON and have automatically qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup billed to happen in Australia and New Zealand next year.

Hosts, the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco, were the first nation to clinch the World Cup ticket for their first ever appearance at the Mundial after pipping the Mares of Botswana on 2-1 on Wednesday.

Sanaa Mssoudy and Yasmin Katie Mrabet scored for Morocco while Keitumetse Dithebe's equaliser was not enough to salvage the game for the WAFCON debutants, Botswana.

The Copper Queens of Zambia followed suit in the second quarterfinal clash. They also booked a place at the World Cup for the first time via a 4-2 penalty shootout victory against the Teranga Lionesses of Senegal.

The match ended 1-all after regulation time with goals from Senegal's Ndiaye Nguener in the 61st minute and Avell Chitundu's equaliser in the 70th minute.

Chitundu's equaliser took the game into extra-time and neither of the sides was able to crack the other in another thirty minutes.

On Thursday, Group C rivals, Nigeria and South Africa both joined Morocco and the Zambian ladies with victories against Cameroon and Tunisia respectively.

Nine time holders and defending champions, Nigeria's Super Falcons dominated the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon but couldn't score more than a goal to seal another appearance at the World Cup.

Atletico Madrid's Rasheedat Ajibade headed in a cross from Gotham FC’s Ifeoma Onumonu to give Nigeria a 1-0 win and ultimately qualify the country for her ninth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Nigeria remains the only African country to have qualified for all editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since the maiden edition in 1991.

Randy Waldrum’s Super Falcons will face host, Atlas Lionesses of Morocco in the semi-final on Monday, hoping to win a tenth WAFCON title.

The Banyana Banyana of South Africa also joined Nigeria in qualifying for the Women’s World Cup after a 1-0 triumph against Tunisia at the Stade Prince Moulay Hassan, Rabat.

Jermaine Seoposenwe scored the all-important goal for the South Africans in the 14th minute which secured consecutive World Cup appearances for the Desiree Ellis tutored side.

All hope isn't lost yet for the losing quarterfinalists. The quarter of Botswana, Senegal, Cameroon and Tunisia will play playoff matches in New Zealand to determine Africa's one other representative at the World Cup next year.

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