The line-up for October’s CAF African Women’s Championship, which will double as qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, has been determined with continental holders Equatorial Guinea suffering a shock elimination.
Zambia, Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and Côte d'Ivoire all progressed over the weekend to join hosts Namibia in the eight-nation 11-24 October event.
The upset result in the second and final round of qualifiers was undoubtedly in Malabo as 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup participants Equatorial Guinea were eliminated by Côte d'Ivoire on away goals after a 2-2 draw.
On the back of a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Abidjan a fortnight ago, Les Elephantes Dames edged the Nzalang Femenino on away goals with a 3-3 aggregate scoreline.
It is the first time a defending champion has failed to qualify for the final tournament in the history of the biennial championships since its inception in 1998.
Also on Saturday, Nigeria achieved their objective of qualifying for every single edition of the African Women’s Championship courtesy an 8-0 thumping of Rwanda. The six-time winners went through 12-1 on aggregate with striker Desire Oparanozie netting a treble in the second leg in Kaduna.
Sunday’s results saw Algeria defeat Tunisia 2-1 (5-3 on aggregate), Ghana see off Ethiopia 3-0 (5-0), Zambia edge Zimbabwe 1-0 (1-0) for their maiden qualification, while Cameroon narrowly outlasted Senegal 1-0 (2-1) on aggregate.
South Africa had qualified before the weekend after Comoros withdrew having suffered a 13-0 defeat in the opening leg.
The top three teams in October’s tournament will win through to Canada 2015.