In battering Equatorial Guinea on Saturday to book a place in the semi finals of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Super Falcons of Nigeria have maintained the enviable record of being the only team to have gone past the group stage at every edition since the inception of the competition in 1998.
Nigeria beat Equatorial Guinea to maintain semi-final records
According to statistics rolled out by CAF, Cameroon, which incidentally will face Nigeria in one of Tuesday’s semi-final matches, has reached the semis at every edition except in 2000 when the competition was held in South Africa.
Also, South Africa which ranked third in the number of semi-final appearances missed out on the semis in 1998 and 2004.
The Black Queens of Ghana become the third hosts to exit the competition at the group stage after South Africa (in 2004) and Namibia (in 2014).
South Africa’s 7-1 win over Equatorial Guinea is their biggest victory at the final tournament. Previously, it was the 5-0 victory over Egypt at the group stage in 2016.
Equatorial Guinea bowed out of the competition with an unfamiliar record of the worst defence in the history of the biannual tournament, conceding 18 goals (goal difference -17) at the group stage.
Prior to that Egypt in 1998 (conceded 14, goal difference -12) and Morocco in 2000 (conceded 13, goal difference -12) had the poorest defence record at the group stage.
Zambia got their first ever win at the final tournament, after beating Equatorial Guinea 5-0 in Cape Coast.
This is the first time Mali has won two games at the final tournament, beat Ghana (2-1) and Algeria (3-2), also the first time they have gone beyond the group stage.
After 12 matches at the group stage, a total of 43 goals have been scored, an average of 3.6 per match. In both 2014 and 2016, it was 35 goals at the same stage.
South African forward Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana leads the scorers chart with four goals. Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Rachael Kundananji of Zambia have three goals each.