For the first time in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, Africa will have three representatives in the round of 16: Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.
CAFOnline takes a look at five players that were exceptional in driving their sides to the knockout stage of the competition.
1 – Chiamaka Nnadozie, Goalkeeper – Nigeria
She was the youngest goalkeeper at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Chiamaka Nnadozie has now become a huge asset for the Super Eagles.
The captain of the Super Falcons was instrumental in keeping a clean sheet against Canada in a 0-0 where she saved a Christine Sinclair penalty.
A stellar performance that saw her walk away with the “Player of the Match” trophy in the opening tie of the Super Falcons.
2 – Hilda Magaia, Striker – South Africa
A double goalscorer in the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2022, Hilda Magaia, who plays her football in the Korea Republic for Sejong Sportstoto has formed a lethal partnership with Thembi Kgatlana.
A serial goalscorer of note, the Dennilton native put up impressive performances against Sweden and Italy and was instrumental in the goals scored.
3 – Thembi Kgatlana, Forward – South Africa
Side-lined for almost a year due to injury, South Africa’s number 11 is really stamping her authority as a goal poacher in this FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Inseparable from her attacking teammate Hildah Magaia, the 2018 CAF Women’s Footballer of the year is high in confidence and it is showing in her performance.
The speedy forward has terrorised defenders in New Zealand and will be key for coach Desiree Ellis against Netherlands in the round of 16.
4- Ibtissam Jraidi, Forward – Morocco
At 30, Ibtissam Jraidi’s experience has been key in Morocco’s debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Against the Republic of Korea, the former AS FAR star, who now dons the colours of
Saudi club Al Ahly gave her nation their first ever victory at a FIFA Women’s World Cup when they won 1-0.
5- Anissa Lahmari, Midfielder – Morocco
The name of Anissa Lahmari will now be associated with that of a historical moment – the qualification of Morocco for the round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The star midfielder perfectly followed Ghizlane’s missed penalty by firing home for the all-important goal and will be key in Morocco’s fairy tale run at the global showpiece.
CAFOnline also pays tribute to Zambia’s Barbra Banda, who scored the 1000th goal in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup through a spot kick in a match the Copper Queens won 3-1 over Costa Rica.