The host country of the African Cup of Nations of women’s football has validated its ticket for the semi-finals of the competition by beating Botswana 2-1 on Wednesday same with Zambia who thrashed Senegal and bought their tickets to semi finals.
The victory is synonymous with qualification for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. July 13, 2022 will remain forever engraved in the memory of the Moroccan people. History will remember that it was on this day that the women’s football team of the Cherifian kingdom obtained its first qualification for the semi-finals of an African Cup of Nations.
But also, its first qualification for a World Cup. The double feat was made possible thanks to the 2-1 victory against Botswana on 13 July, in a match counting for the quarter-finals of the 14th WAFCON at home.
Two goals were enough for the Atlas Lionesses to achieve an unprecedented performance. The first was scored in the 3rd minute. It was signed by the striker Sanaa Mssoudy. She deflected a ball past the opposing goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja (1-0).
The second came in the 59th minute when Moroccan defender Yasmin Mrabet was left alone at the back post to head home. The only impact of Keitumetse Dithebe’s equaliser (1-1, 7th) was to push the Moroccan team to be more determined. Morocco joined Zambia, the first team to reach the last four.
Zambia is the first African nation to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. This will be the first participation of the Cooper Queens in this competition. A feat made possible on Wednesday, after the victory over Senegal (1-1, 4-2 tab) in the quarterfinals of the African Women’s Cup of Nations being played in Morocco. The Zambians will therefore also play their first Afcon semi-final.
The night did not start well for Barbra Banda’s teammates. It was the first real chance of the game for Avell Chitundu, who was sent off on the right and her cross-shot was saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper .
It was not until the 38th minute that the striker Mama Diop took her first safe shot. Before the break, the Lionesses of Teranga had the opportunity to open the score. Ndeye Awa Diakhaté broke into the Zambian box but was slow to feed Hapsatou Malado Diallo, who then ran into goalkeeper Hazel Nali.