Namibia, final hurdle Black Queens must clear for 2024 Women’s AFCON spot
Ghana’s Black Queens will face Namibia in the final lap of the qualifying series for the 2024 Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) to be staged in Morocco.
Last Tuesday, the Queens continued from where they left off in Kigali last week, beating their Rwanda counterparts 5-0 at the Accra Stadium to wrap this qualifying leg 12-0 on aggregate to keep their onward march in the campaign.
The draw for the qualifiers has placed Namibia in their path for final round of qualifiers in November, with the ultimate winners of that round booking their places for the tournament which will be hosted for a second consecutive time by Morocco.
Namibia advanced to this final round with a 5-2 win over Gambia in the two-leg tie honoured in Morocco as they both played home away from home. Namibia won the first leg 3-2 and also the second leg 2-0.
Ghana will host the first leg in November with the Namibians hosting the second leg in Windheok in December.
Ghana, other big winners
Having missed out on the 2022 edition which by extension cost them an an opportunity to vie for a ticket to the 2023 Women’s World Cup (WWC), the Queens at the beginning of the campaign vowed to restore their pride and place among African women’s football elite and so far, they have remained on course.
Swiss’ Nora Hauptle and her new-look, foreign-based dominated Queens have so far taken care of business with their unbeaten run, showing potency upfront while also making sure no ball go past their goalkeeper by keeping a clean sheet.
Unlike the last qualifiers which pitched them against Nigeria, this year’s draw has kept them out of the way of potential danger and should they remain focused, could be one of the 11 teams to qualify for the 2024 WAFCON.
Ghana were not the only sides to have recorded cricket scores in this round. Tunisia and Togo were also big winners, Tunisia beating Niger 12-1 on aggregate, winning the first leg 7-0 and the second 5-1.
Togo on the other hand won 13-0 against Djibouti, recording 0-7 away win in the first leg and 6-0 in the second leg in Lome.
Regular attendants to the WAFCON, Cameroun were the biggest casualties of this qualifiers, eliminated by Kenya on penalties in their tie
The first leg was won 1-0 in Douala but the Kenyans turned the tide and also won 1-0 in Nairobi, pushing the tie to penalties which they won 4-3.
This result means that Cameroun, hosts and silver medalists in 2016, will miss the WAFCON since making their debut at the inaugural competition in 1998.
Also to miss the 2024 WAFCON will be Cote d’Ivoire who were eliminated by unfancied Tanzania on penalties. Each side won their home game 2-0 and when it came to the final decider, the Tanzanians won 4-2 on penalties
Final round ties
The final round of qualifies will be played in November and December, 2023, with defending champions, South Africa as well as Nigeria, who had a walkover in the first round, joining the draw.
The winners of these final ties will join hosts, Morocco in the 12-nation tournament.
Senegal v Egypt
Mali v Guinea
Nigeria v Cape Verde
Algeria v Burundi
Equatorial Guinea v DR Congo
Tanzania v Togo
Ghana v Namibia
Kenya v Botswana
Tunisia v Congo
Zambia v Angola
Burkina Faso v South Africa