2014 AFRICAN WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP GUIDE

2014 AFRICAN WOMEN CHAMPIONSHIP

awc

Host Nation: Namibia

Venues: Sam Nujoma stadium, Windhoek; Independence stadium, Windhoek

Eight goals from two games on the first day of the 9th African Women Championship is enough to tell that the fun has just begun in Windhoek Namibia where eight teams are in the running for the prestigious crown as well as three tickets to the 2015 World Cup in Canada.

Striker, Rita Williams goes into the record books as the scorer of the first goal of the tournament as her 5th minute opener and a second from Thomalina Adams ensured the hosts enjoyed a 2-0 victory over fellow debutants Zambia in the Championship’s curtain raiser.

After the Brave Gladiators activated their big sporting moment on a high, a six goal thriller saw Desire Oparanozie get a brace as six-time Champion Nigeria beat Ivory Coast 4-2 to officially announce their intent.

Indeed, it’s the 9th AWC where ONE aims to reclaim their ‘birthright’ which they lost two years ago to Equatorial Guinea; where SOME hope to make their dreams of Canada 2015 come true regardless of whether they emerge champions or not and where OTHERS, have come to gain experience for future purposes.

This is just the beginning, but in no time, two weeks will be over and every team will know their place on or before the 25th of October.

Since the inception of this biennual tournament in 1998, ONLY two teams have won it; super powers, Nigeria (6 times) and Equatorial Guinea (2 times) unfortunately the latter who are the defending Champions fell short of qualification this year.

The absence of the defending Champions means this edition will definitely produce a different set of semifinalists compared to the past three editions; 2008, 2010 and 2012 which had Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Cameroon and Nigeria. BUT we have to wait to see if there would be a NEW Champion.

GROUP STAGE

There are eight teams in two groups. The top two placed teams in each group will advance to the semifinals. The losers of those semifinals will play in the third place match, while the winners will face off in the final. The top three placed teams at the end of the Championship will qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

GROUP A: Namibia (hosts), Zambia, Nigeria and Ivory Coast

NAMIBIA aka Brave Gladiators is ranked 15th in Africa and 106 in the world.

Head Coach: Jacqueline Shipanga

Previous Appearances: None

Qualification: Hosts

Preparation: Since Namibia was not involved in the qualification series, they began preparations for the tournament earlier than others.

In March, they hosted Ghana as part of Namibia’s 24th Independence celebrations and lost 3-0 and 3-1 against the Black Queens.

During Easter in April, they played a three match series against German Westphalia U-18 team; winning 1-0, losing 2-1 and wrapping up with a 2-0 victory.

Namibia also hosted Ethiopia in April, in a first-ever encounter between the two countries and an early goal by Twelikondjela Amukoto gave Namibia a narrow 1-0 victory

In June, the Brave Gladiators went on a tour to Germany where they played regional and club sides and in July they hosted South Africa in Windhoek, with Banyana Banyana emerging 2-1 victors.

They engaged in two friendly games in August, suffering a 2-0 loss to South Africa this time in Johannesburg on the 10th of August and Ten days later, thrashing Botswana 5-2 in Windhoek with Thomalina Adams scoring a hat-trick.

In their final preparation match, the Brave Gladiators overcame Algeria 3-1.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Midfield Kingpin and playmaker, Zenatha Coleman; Prolific goal poacher, Thomalina Adams and Defender Uerikondjera Kasaona who is the captain.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Lydia Eixas (Okahandja Beauties), Agnes Kauzuu (JS Academy), Susanna Eises (Okahandja Beauties)

Defenders: Uerikondjera Kasaona (Okahandja Beauties), Iina Katuta (JS Academy), Twelikondjela Amukoto (JS Academy), Stacey Naris (Okahandja Beauties), Lorraine Jossob (Sportfreunde Neukirch (Germany), Ester Amukwaya (Unam Bokkies), Veweziwa Kotjipati (FC Guthesloh)

Midfielders: Lena Noreses (JS Academy), Annouscka Kordom (JS Academy), Juliana Skrywer (Okahandja Beauties), Thomalina Adams (FC Bochum), Zenatha Coleman (JS Academy), Memory Ngonda (Ibberburrin (Germany), Shirley Cloete (Okahandja Beauties), Lovisa Mulunga (JS Academy)

Strikers: Vistoria Shangula (JS Academy), Rita Williams (21 Brigade NDF), Elmarie Fredericks (Okahandja Beauties)

ZAMBIA aka Shepolopolo is currently ranked 16th in Africa and 116 in the world.

Head coach: Charles Bwale

Previous Appearances: None

Qualification: After six unsuccessful attempts, Zambia finally qualified for their first final this year after getting past Tanzania 3-2 on aggregate (1-1, 2-1) in the first round and beating Zimbabwe (1-0, 1-0) in the second round.

Preparations: They were not impressive in their warm-up matches, losing almost all. Zambia hosted South Africa and Cameroon in friendly matches in Lusaka. They lost 4 – 0 to the former in August and played two matches with the latter losing 2-0 in the first match played at Woodlands Stadium on October 1 before recording a goalless draw in the second played at Nkoloma Stadium on October 4.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Hellen Mubanga who finished as the joint second top scorer in the qualifying rounds with three goals and Midfielder Kabanga Mupopo.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Hazel Natasha Nali (Chingola Queens), Mirriam Katamanda (Red Arrows), Wendy Lydia Kunda (Mooba Queens)

Defenders: Ethel Esther Chama (Green Buffaloes), Anita Mulenga (Green Buffaloes), Meya Banda (Green Buffaloes),  Annie Kibanji (Green Buffaloes), Grace Zulu, (Bauleni Sports Academy), Emelda Musonda (Red Arrows)

Midfielders: Racheal Lungu (Bauleni Sports Academy), Lweendo Chisamu, (Chibolya Queens), Esther Nakalange Mukwasa (Mooba Queens), Justina Banda (Olympic Youth Development Centre), Susan Banda (Red Arrows), Mary Mwakapila (Bauleni Sports Academy), Misozi Chisha Racheal Zulu (National Assembly), Kabange Mupopo (Green Buffaloes)

Strikers: Hellen Mubanga (Bauleni United Sports Academy), Carol Theresa Howes (Balcatta Sc), Nchawaka Namputa Saili (Bauleni United Sports Academy), Noria Sosala (National Assembly).

IVORY COAST aka Les Eléphantes is ranked sixth in Africa and 64th in the world.

Head coach: Clementine Toure

Previous Appearances: (1) 2012 Group Stage

Qualification: Beat Mali (4-0, 0-1) in the first round, edged out defending Champions Equatorial Guinea (1-1, 2-2) in the second round.

Preparation: Cote d’Ivoire boosted their preparations with a 2-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies in Johannesburg.

It was the second victory for the Ivorians, who were holding a training camp in South Africa, after a 4-0 victory over the University of Johannesburg Women’s team.

They had lost 2-1 to the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in their first test game since their training camp in Southern Africa.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Koko N’Guessan, Tia Vino Ines N’Rehy, Miriam Diakite (who unfortunately has begun with an own goal against Nigeria)

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Thiamalé Ange Marie Dominique (Omness Dabou); Djohoré Cynthia (Onze Sœurs Gagnoa); Saki Abié Lydie (Juventus Yopougon)

Defenders: Coulibaly Fatou (Juventus Yopougon); Diakité Mariam (ES Abobo); Kpaho Zoté Nina (Juventus Yopougon); Tchétché Noukeu Fernand (Omness Dabou); Coulibaly Djelika (Juventus Yopougon); Koutouan Stanie Michaël (Stella Club) CAP; Nogbou Debora Sabine (Saint Maure, France)

Midfielders: Guehai Ida Rebecca (Onze Sœurs Gagnoa); Akaffou Leyo Rita (Juventus Yopougon); Cissé Nadège (ES Abobo); Lohoues Yeblé Christine (Onze Sœurs Gagno); Essoh Jeanne Nadège (Juventus Yopougon); Yassi Marie Claire (Atlas, Maroc); Amari Esmel (WAC, Maroc)

Forwards: Nahi Estelle Marie Josée (Russie); NRehy Tia Voho Inès (Serbie); N’Guessan Koko Ange (Omness Dabou); Elloh Amon Rebecca (Onze Sœurs)

NIGERIA aka Super Falcons is currently ranked first in Africa and 34 in the world.

Head coach: Edwin Okon

Past appearances (8): 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012

Achievement: Six-time Winners (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010); Third place (2008); Fourth place (2012)

In 2010, Perpetua Nkwocha led the way with a new tournament record of 11 goals. She scored hattricks against Mali and Cameroon and helped Nigeria avenge their defeat against Equatorial Guinea two years earlier when they beat them 4-2 in the final to regain the title.

Qualification: The Super Falcons easily qualified for this year’s African Women Championship. After their first round opponent, Sierra Leone withdrew, they went on to thrash Rwanda 12-1 on aggregate home and away in the second qualifying round.
They won the first leg encounter 8-0 at home, with Desire Oparanozie scoring a hattrick and Asisat Oshoala a brace, while Oshoala scored two more goals in their 4-1 away leg victory.

Preparation: Finally opened camp on the 14th of September in Abuja after the dust in the Nigeria Football Federation had settled and played five local friendlies: lost 2-1 to Sia One Academy boys; thrashed Yahaya Umaru Academy boys 5-1; played a goalless draw with A.I Dikko Academy boys; piped Sia One Academy 1-0 and spanked Abuja All Stars 5-2.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Asisat Oshoala: Highest goal scorer and Most Valuable player at the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup; joint top scorer in the qualifying stage (4 goals); top scorer in the friendlies (4 goals).

Desire Oparanozie: she has been very influential at her club side in France, En-Avent Guingamp, scoring decisive goals; joint top scorer in the qualifying stage (4goals).

Ngozi Ebere the free kick specialist. Most of her goals for her club Rivers Angels have come from set pieces.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Precious Dede (Ibom Angels), Ibubeleye White (Rivers Angels), Christy Ohieriaku (Osun Babes)

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Houston Dash, United States), Josephine Chukwunonye (Rivers Angels), Gloria Ofoegbu (Rivers Angels), OnomeEbi (FK Minsk, Belarus), Ngozi Ebere (Rivers Angels), Ugo Njoku (Rivers Angels)

Midfielders: Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels), Onyinyechi Ohadugha (Rivers Angels), Gloria Iroka (Rivers Angels), Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels), AyindeHalimat (Delta Queens), Ngozi Okobi (Delta Queens)

Forwards: Desire Oparanozie (En-Avent Guingamp, France), Perpetua Nkwocha (Sunana SK, Sweden), Esther Sunday (FK Minsk, Belarus), Asisat Oshoala (Rivers Angels), Stella Mbachu (Rivers Angels), Francisca Ordega (Pitea IF, Sweden)

GROUP B: Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and South Africa

ALGERIA aka Les Fennecs Dames is currently ranked seventh in Africa and 75 in the world.

Head coach: Azzedine Chih

Previous appearances (3): 2004, 2006, 2010 Never gone past the group stage.

Qualification: They beat Morocco 2-0 on aggregate home and away with Naima Bouhanni scoring both goals in the first round and then beat Tunisia 5-3 over two legs in the second round.

Preparation: Algeria who carry the hope of North Africa had four stages of preparations. The Fennecs prepared at home at the National Technical Centre in Sidi-Moussa over the past months under the guidance of coach Azzedine Chih. They arrived Namibia two weeks before the commencement of the tournament and played one friendly against Namibia which they lost 3-1.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Naima Bouhenni and Myriam Yasmine Benlazar

SQUAD

Kahina Takenint (Algeria, AS Surete Nationale); Asma Adda Chaib (Algeria, CS Constantine); Fatima Sekouane (Algeria, Affak Relizane); Naima Benziane Bouheni (Algeria, Affak Relizane); Fethia Bekhedda (Algeria, Affak Relizane); Keltoum Aouda (Algeria, Affak Relizane);Sihame Boutechiche (Algeria, ASE Alger Centre); Khadidja Khelifouche (Algeria, ASE Alger Centre); Nachida Laifa (Algeria, ASE Alger Centre); Horiya Affak (Algeria, ASE Alger Centre); Fatima Bara (Algeria, ASE Alger Centre); Habiba Sadou (Algeria, AS Surete Nationale); Mahbouba Bekkouche (Algeria, JF Khroub); Nadia Mazouz (Algeria, JF Khroub); Houria Sedrati (Algeria, CS Constantine); Imene Merrouche (Algeria, CS Constantine); Kenza Hadjar (Algeria, USF Bejaia); Lydia Mounia Miraoui (France, Claix Football Féminin); Myriam Yasmine Benlazar (France, Toulouse FC); Sabrina Labiod (France, AS Muret); Fayrouz Benyoub (France, AS Muret)

GHANA aka Black Queens is currently ranked second in Africa and 50 in the world.

Head coach: Yusif Basigi

Previous appearances (7): 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010

Achievement: Runner-up (1998, 2002, 2006), third-place (2000, 2004)

Qualification: Ghana comfortably qualified for the finals after beating Burkina Faso 6-0 and Ethiopia 5-0 on aggregate in the first and second round qualifiers.

Preparation: The Black Queens opened camp on 29 July 2014 with 25-players called up by coach Yusif Basigi. They had a two-match training tour of Japan where the Ghanaians held the Japanese Olympic team 0-0 on 10 September 2014 before succumbing to a 5-0 loss three days later both in Yamagata. On their return the Black Queens recorded an impressive 3-1 win over Tura Magic U-15 boys in Namibia with midfield maestro Elizabeth Cudjoe scoring a hat-trick.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Faiza Ibrahim who was the highest goal scorer for the Black Queens in qualifying as well as Elizabeth Cudjoe.

SQUAD

Nana Ama Asantewaa, Fafali Dumehasi, Mary Berko, Faiza Ibrahim, Diana Ankomah (Police) Patricia Mantey, Rosemary Ampem, Leticia Zikpi, Agnes Quaye, (Immigration) Portia Boakye, Agnes Aduako (Fabulous Ladies) Janet Egyir, Samira Suleman, Linda Eshun, Elizabeth Cudjoe (Hasaacas Ladies) Juliet Acheampong (Ashtown Ladies) Mercy Myles, Cynthia Adobea, Grace Asare (Reformers Ladies) Hillia Kobblah (Faith Ladies) Mary Essiful (Intellectuals)

CAMEROON aka Indomitable Lionesses is currently ranked third in Africa and 51 in the world.

Head coach: Enow Ngachu

Previous appearances (8): 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012

Achievement: Runner-up (2004), third-place (2002, 2012), Fourth place (2006, 2008, 2010)

Qualification: Cameroon reached this year’s Africa Women’s Championship finals after beating Senegal 2-1 on aggregate, with Nchout Njoya and Francine Edoa scoring the goals.

Preparation: beat Zambia 2-0 in the first match played at Woodlands Stadium on October 1 before recording a goalless draw in the second played at Nkoloma Stadium on October 4.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Striker Madeleine Ngono, who has scored 26 goals in 42 appearances for Cameroon, Njoya Nkout and Midfielder Francine Edoa

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Annette Ngo Ndom (Slovakia, Union Nové Zámky);Téclaire Mbororo (Cameroon Panther Security); Enyegue Bessala (Cameroon, AS Police)

Defenders: Ejangue Siliki (Norway, Amazon Grimstad); Ysis Sonkeng (Cameroon, Louves Minproff); Rita Wanki (Cameroon, Locomotive FC); Cathy Bou Jouh (Nigeria, Rivers Angels); Yvonne Leuko (France, Arras Football)

Midfielders:Iven Mihamlé (Cameroon Louves Minproff); Akaba Edoua (Cameroon Louves Minproff);Jeannette Yango (France, FF Yzeure); Francine Zouga (France, Montpellier HSC); Ngo Beleck (Cameroon, Caïman); Raissa Feudjio (Turkey, Trabzonspor); Balbine Mendoua (Turkey, Ataşehir Belediyespor)

Forwards: Rose Bella (Cameroon, AS Police); Gaëlle Enganamouit (Sweden, Eskilstuna United DFF); Madeleine Ngono Mani (France, Claix Football Féminin); Christine Mani (Romania, CFF Olimpia Cluj); Njoya Nkout (Cameroon, AS Police); Gabrielle Onguene    (Cameroon, Louves Minproff)

SOUTH AFRICA aka Banyana Banyana is currently ranked fifth in Africa and 56 in the world.

Head Coach: Vera Pauw

Previous appearances (8): 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012

Achievement: Runner-up (2000, 2008, 2012), third- place (2006, 2010), Fourth-place (2002)

Qualification: South Africa easily qualified after beating Comoros Islands 13-0 in the first leg of the 2nd qualifying round. Comoros withdrew from the second leg.

Preparation: Pauw and her charges were prbably the busiest in preparations. They held training camps for about four months, played eight international friendly matches (some were two legged), winning seven and playing to a goalless draw against Zimbabwe.

They beat neighbours Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Cote d I’voire.

Nigeria is the only team from Group A they did not trade tackles with in a friendly. They defeated the others; Namibia, Zambia and Ivory Coast.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Phenomenal Portia Modise would lead their strike force. The veteran forward, who already has 98 goals in 114 appearances for Banyana Banyana, is expected to hit the century mark in Windhoek. Ten of those 98 goals came from this year’s friendly matches where she scored 8 in two games.

Modise was joint top scorer in the qualifiers alongside another prolific striker, Leandra Smeda with 4 goals.

Captain Janine Van Wyk is another influential player for the South African side.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thokozile Mndaweni (Croesus FC), Roxanne Barker (Por KA).

Defenders: Noko Matlou (Ma-Indies FC), Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons), Janine Van Wyk (JVW FC), Nomathemba Ntsibande (Springs Home Sweepers), SimphiweDludlu (TUKS Ladies FC), Lebogang Ramalepe (Ma-Indies FC), Gloria Thato (University of Pretoria).

Midfielders: Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg), Sanah Mollo (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Leandra Smeda (UWC Ladies), Refiloe Jane (VUT Ladies), Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons), Mpumi Nyandeni (JVW FC).

Strikers: Shiwe Nongwanya (Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies), Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies FC), Ode Fulutudilu (Spurs FC), Thembi Kgatlana (TUT), Portia Modise (Croesus FC)

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