Elephants miss out as Africa’s race for France intensifies
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Elephants miss out as Africa’s race for France intensifies


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    • Line-up for this year’s CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations decided
    • Côte d’Ivoire, FIFA Women’s World Cup™ qualifiers in 2015, miss out
    • Top three at the continent’s finals will qualify for France 2019


The 2018 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations will take place in Ghana between 17 November and 1 December, with the winners, runners-up and third-placed team all qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™. The line-up for the continental finals is now complete, with seven teams emerging from the qualifying competition to join hosts Ghana. There were no surprises in the second-round ties, with one notable exception.

The results (winners in bold)
Cameroon (0-5, 5-0; Cameroon win 10-0 on aggregate)
Kenya-Equatorial Guinea (2-1, 2-0; Equatorial Guinea win 3-2 on aggregate)
​Côte d’Ivoire-Mali (2-2, 0-0; 2-2 on aggregate, Mali win on away goals)
Lesotho-South Africa (0-1, 6-0; South Africa win 7-0 on aggregate)
Zambia-Zimbabwe (0-1, 1-2; 2-2 on aggregate, Zambia win on away goals)
Algeria-Ethiopia (3-1, 2-3; Algeria win 6-3 on aggregate)
Gambia-Nigeria (0-1, 6-0; Nigeria win 7-0 on aggregate)

Favourites flex muscles
Cameroon planted one foot in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in the first leg of their tie against Congo in Brazzaville, with Therese Abena, Nchout Ajara, Madeleine Ngono Mani, Grace Ngock Yango and Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene all getting on the scoresheet in an emphatic 5-0 win. Les Lionnes repeated the performance in the second leg, as an Onguene brace and goals from Abena, Ajara Njoya and Michelle Akaba saw them to a 10-0 aggregate triumph. South Africa were indebted to a solitary Leandra Smeda goal as they edged a tight first leg in Lesotho, a result they followed up with a comprehensive 6-0 victory in the return. Nigeria followed the same formula in disposing of Gambia, winning 1-0 away and then racking up six without reply at home, where Desire Oparanozie scored four and Francesca Ordega a brace.

Elephants stopped in their tracks
After making their Women’s World Cup debut at Canada 2015, Côte d’Ivoire will not be figuring in France, following their failure to beat Mali home or away. The Malians earned a surprise 2-2 draw in Abidjan in the first leg and then completed the job by keeping the Ivorians at bay in a goalless return.

HIGHLIGHTS: Côte d’Ivoire v. Thailand – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

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Fightbacks for Equatorial Guinea and Zambia
Beaten in Kenya, Equatorial Guinea turned the tie around on home soil thanks to goals from Chinasa Okoro and Salome Nke. Though the Nzalang Nacional will now fight it out for continental glory, they cannot qualify for France 2019, as their national association is currently suspended by FIFA. Meanwhile, Zambia kept their hopes of making a debut Women’s World Cup appearance alive despite losing 1-0 at home to Zimbabwe. Standing tall in the return, the Zambians won 2-1 to advance on the away-goals rule.

Algeria too good for Ethiopia
Ethiopia were unable to maintain their impressive first-round form against an Algeria side that had too much for them in attack. Goals from Madina Ramdani, Assia Sidhoum and team captain Fatima Sekouane gave the north Africans a 3-1 win in the first leg, which they backed up with a 3-2 victory in the second, with Sekouane again finding the back of the net.



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