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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Two Nigerians among 8 Africans CAF listed as players to watch

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With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand starting this week, Cafonline.com takes a look at some of the African players hoping to shine at the tournament.

Chiamaka Nnadozie – Nigeria

Age: 22

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Paris FC (France)

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The youngest goalkeeper at France 2019, Nnadozie has grown over the last four years. After a stellar season with 11 clean sheets in 26 games to help Paris FC finish third and qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the Nigerian’s shot-stopping abilities will be key. Standing at 1.8m, she dominates the area and is strong on crosses and set-pieces.

Andile Dlamini – South Africa

Age: 30

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Mamelodi Sundowns

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Fresh off being named the best goalkeeper at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2022, Dlamini heads to her second World Cup. The Mamelodi Sundowns star is renowned for her one-on-one prowess thanks to speed off her line and positioning. Her reflexes and reach also make her a top shot-stopper.

Ireen Lungu – Zambia

Age: 25

Position: Midfielder

Club: BIIK Kazygurt (Kazakhstan)

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A mobile midfielder, Lungu is aggressive on the ball and willing to take risks. She possesses excellent close control to retain possession in tight areas and draw fouls. Going forward, she shows creativity and guile to dictate play from the middle third with precise short and long passing.

Ghizlane Chebbak – Morocco

Age: 32

Position: Midfielder

Club: AS FAR (Morocco)

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Voted player of the tournament at the Women’s AFCON 2022, playmaker Chebbak has football pedigree as daughter of 1976 AFCON winner Larbi Chebbak. Equally adept as a box-to-box runner or advanced playmaker, her vision, passing range and set-piece delivery make her a key cog for Morocco.

Fatima Tagnaout – Morocco

Age: 24

Position: Forward

Club: AS FAR

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Pace and creativity define Tagnaout’s game. The versatile striker can play across the front line but prefers the left channel, cutting inside to shoot with her right foot. Her acceleration and top speed make her a constant threat on the counter, while clever movement creates space.

Asisat Oshoala – Nigeria

Age: 28

Position: Forward

Club: Barcelona (Spain)

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A five-time African Women’s Player of the Year, Oshoala thrives on the open field with her blistering speed. Though she can finish anywhere, her heading, hold-up play and athleticism make her a well-rounded striker. Intelligent runs in behind defences are a speciality of the prolific finisher.

Barbra Banda – Zambia

Age: 23

Position: Forward

Club: Shanghai Shengli (China)

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Banda announced herself on the world stage at Tokyo 2020, becoming the first women’s footballer to score back-to-back hat-tricks at an Olympics. Her pace with the ball creates space to shoot from distance or attack defences directly. Dropping deep to link play, she also provides key passes, while curling right-foot strikes echo Thierry Henry.

Thembi Kgatlana – South Africa

Age: 27

Position: Forward

Club: Racing Louisville (USA)

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After missing most of the Women’s AFCON 2022 through injury, Kgatlana is back fit to lead the line for Banyana Banyana. Boasting superb technique and explosive acceleration, her low centre of gravity helps in duels. Strong aerial abilities and smart movement round out the skillset of the 5’4” striker.

 

 

 

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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.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Dominican Republic 2024:Flamingos land in the Dominican Republic!

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Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, have secured their ticket to the 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic later this year, after a 2-0 defeat of their Liberian counterparts at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.

Victory took the aggregate tally to 6-1 in favour of Nigeria, with extraordinary poacher Harmony Chidi setting a record of 13 goals in a qualifying series that will be difficult to equal in years to come. She had 11 goals before kick-off, but netted the two goals of the evening to take Nigeria’s total of the series to a whopping 25. Central African Republic fell by a dozen goals while Burkina Faso fell 1-7 on aggregate.

Her first came after only four minutes when she sped past the Liberian defence to toe-poke the ball beyond the flailing arms of goalkeeper Makula Konneh from a cross by Shakirat Moshood.

A goal feast was expected, but this did not happen, as Peace Effiong had a close call in the 17th and Moshood rocked the crossbar a minute after from 20 yards. Moshood also missed from close range with 10 minutes left of the first half.

In the 56th minute, Moshood blasted beyond the goalpost when faced with Konneh, but Harmony Chidi made sure of her brace seven minutes later when she lashed the ball beyond Konneh’s reach as Nigeria seized the ball from a defensive slip-up by the visitors.

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The 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

‘It shall be showers of goals’, vows Flamingos ahead of Liberia clash

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Head Coach Bankole Olowookere is confident that the Nigeria U17 girls, Flamingos, will not take their feet off the pedal when they take on their Liberian counterparts in a FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup final qualifying match in Abuja on Friday.

“We are battle-ready for the match on Friday. The girls are raring to go because they want to go to the World Cup. They are already dreaming of flying to the Dominican Republic.

“There is so much excitement in camp, and they are self-assured. However, I have warned them that it is never over until it is over. There should be no display of over-confidence on the pitch. We must approach the match like the first leg was a drawn game.”

Nigeria won the first leg 4-1 in Monrovia on Sunday, with 11-goal qualifying series revelation Harmony Chidi, Shakirat Moshood, Peace Effiong and substitute Blessing Ifitezue banging in the goals for the Flamingos. The hosts got their consolation goal off a penalty awarded with five minutes left of the encounter at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.

The Flamingos will take part in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup for the seventh time once they cross Friday’s hurdle.

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They featured at the inaugural edition in New Zealand in 2008, and subsequently at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, Azerbaijan 2012, Costa Rica 2014, Jordan 2016 and India 2022, where they won the bronze medals.  

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