- South Africa win through to first Women’s World Cup after previous near-misses
- Nigeria maintain perfect qualification record with shoot-out semi-final win
- Cameroon and Mali will vie for the final African qualifying berth on Friday
Nigeria and South Africa secured qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ following semi-final victories at the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018 on Tuesday.
The Nigerians earned their spot at next year’s global finals with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out win over Cameroon in the day’s first semi-final in Accra after both sides played out a goalless extra-time draw.
Though Cameroon had more possession and created more chances, 120 minutes of action was unable to separate both sides at the Accra Sports Stadium.
That meant a penalty shoot-out was required, and it was the Super Falcons that held their nerve by converting all four of their spot-kicks to outlast Cameroon, who were unsuccessful from the spot on two occasions.
This will be Nigeria’s eighth consecutive appearance at a Women’s World Cup, having played in all seven previous editions of the competition, going back to the inaugural tournament in 1991.
South Africa followed the Nigerians by earning their maiden Women’s World Cup qualification with a convincing 2-0 victory over Mali in Cape Coast.
Thembi Kgatlana’s fifth goal of the tournament proved to be Banyana Banyana’s winner just after the half-hour mark, with Lebohang Ramalepe ensuring they would go through to face the Super Falcons in Saturday’s final with a second goal in the late stages.
While the South Africans can look forward to their debut at the women’s football’s showpiece next year, Cameroon and Mali will meet on Friday to determine Africa's third and final qualification place when they contest the match for third place at Ghana 2018.