Equatorial Guinea are among the rising stars on the African women’s football scene following their win at the 2008 CAF Women’s Championship, where they beat higher-ranked teams such as Nigeria and South Africa.

The tiny West African country, the smallest in the whole tournament in terms of size and population are currently 70th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.

Yet to participate in qualifying events for CAF or FIFA competitions, the team was only formed for this Youth Olympics two months ago when coach Jean Paul Mpile scoured the country’s schools for girls eligible to play.

“It’s a huge honour for me to lead this team who are representing Equatorial Guinea and Africa in the first-ever Youth Olympic Football Tournament,” said Mpile. “This is a unique chance for us to do the country and Africa proud. Our aim is to reach the final and win the gold medal.”

In order to prepare the team in the best possible way for the country’s first major international football tournament, they arranged numerous friendlies against local school teams, with many fixtures organised against boys aged ten or 11.

The team, who are blessed with pace in abundance, can move the ball well and break quickly on the counter attack. Defender Pilar Mondjeli is the rock at the back, Felicidad Avomo leads the line upfront, while Judit Ndong is the side’s playmaker.