Ten-woman Cameroon qualified to play in the inter-continental play-offs for the World Cup next year after beating Botswana 1-0 at the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Rabat on Sunday.
The Indomitable Lionesses clinched their place thanks to a first-half powerful strike by Captain Ajara Nchout at the Stade Prince Moulay Al Hassan in Rabat.
Despite losing substitute Fadimatou Aretouyap late in the game, Botswana could not make their numerical advantage count as the Lionesses held on to qualify.
Earlier on the day, Senegal also booked a place for the inter-continental play-offs for the World Cup next year after beating Tunisia 4-2 on penalties.
The Lionesses of Teranga wrote their names in the history books of African women’s football when they picked one of the two slots for the playoffs in New Zealand.
The West Africans recovered from their quarter-finals disappointment to see off Tunisians at the Complexe Sportif Mohamed V.
The Lionesses secured the playoff spot with the victory in the post-match penalty shootouts after a scoreless stalemate in regulation time.
Senegal head coach Serigne Mousse Cissé made two alterations to the team that lost on penalties to Zambia in the quarter-finals of the tournament four days ago.
Two African countries must join eight countries from around the world in the inter-confederation playoffs scheduled for February, next year.
FIFA’s decision to expand the tournament from 24 to 32 teams from the 2023 edition of the Women’s World Cup resulted in more places for Africa.
Hosts Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia will play at the World Cup after they all advanced to the last four of the tourney in the North African country.
The inter-confederation playoff has three more slots available for the World Cup but 10 countries must fight to grab the places.
The two African countries will join Panama, Haiti, Thailand and Chinese Taipei who have already qualified for the competition to be played early next year.
The competition will be played from February 18-23 in New Zealand at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton and Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium. – Cafonline