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Zambia makes history – Reach WAFCON semi-finals, qualify for World Cup



Senegal in a penalty shootout on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.

The Copper Queens made history when they secured their first World Cup berth and their first semis place in the continental competition after seeing off the West Africans in a tight contest. 

The Southern African sailed through on 4-2 in the shootout at the Complexe Sportif Mohamed V in Casablanca after a 1-1 stalemate after extra-time.

The Teranga Lionesses broke the deadlock just after the hour mark through Nguenar Ndiaye who was unmarked inside the box when she received the ball.

The Zambians drew level in the 70th minute after Avell Chitundu scored from close range before the both sides failed to find the target resulting in the shootout.

Zambia demonstrated their desire to win the match as coach Bruce Mwape made no changes to the impressive starting team that beat Togo in the last group game four days ago. 


Senegal gaffer Mame Moussa Cissé made a couple of changes to the team that lost narrowly to host country Morocco in their last group game. 

Mareme Babou, Anta Dembele, Ndeye Awa Diakhate and Nguenar Ndiaye were brought into the starting list for the Teranga Lionesses

And Ndiaye responded to the faith shown in her by the coach when she opened the scoring in the match in the 61st minute when she evaded her markers to fire home.

The Cooper Queens responded moments later as Chitundu pounced on a mistake by Senegalese goalkeeper Tenning Sene as the latter failed to deal with a freekick by Lushomo Mweemba.

The Zambians came close to getting another goal when Xiomara Mapepa fluffed a glorious chance after being put on goal by the skipper Grace Chanda with goalkeeper Sene.producing an outstanding save.


The extra-time was closely contested with both teams failing to find the back of the net

Zambia ended up winning the penalties with Siomala Mapepa, Misozi Zulu, Ireen Lungu and goalkeeper Hazel Natasha Nali scoring while on the Senegalese side, only Mama Diop, Haby Baldé managed to convert their attempts.

Zambia in addition to qualifying for the semi-finals of the WAFCON, the ticket for the 2023 World Cup which will take place in Australia and New Zealand has also been secured

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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