FOLLOWING the round-up of the group stage matches, three out of four of the African women’s football teams have scaled the hurdles from their respective groups to qualify for the knock-out stage of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Out of the four African representatives that qualified for the world cup, they are Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Only Zambia failed to progress to the next round of 16.
The ICIR had reported that none of the four African teams won their opening matches, casting doubt on their strengths on the global stage.
But, The ICIR observed that out of the total 12 matches played by the African quartet at the ongoing FIFA women’s world cup in Australia and New Zealand, each one of them won at least one match apart from Morocco winning two in a row.
Results from the group stage revealed that African sides won 5, lost 4 and drew 3 matches.
Nigeria and Cameroon are the only two African countries that have reached the knockout stage in the past. Nigeria became the first African side to progress to the knockout rounds in the USA in 1999, while Cameroon matched them in 2015 later in Canada.
It is believed this is the first time Africa had more than two teams advance from the group stage at the Women’s World Cup. However, this feat falls in the context of the tournament’s recent expansion to include more teams.
Round of 16 encounters
All three African sides qualified as the second from their groups. Due to this, they will fight tough teams to get to the top.
As the group stage commences tomorrow, 5, August, African representatives have another barrier to break. South Africa will face the Netherlands on Sunday, August 6, while, the next day, Monday, Nigeria will slug it out against England.
On Tuesday, August 8, Morroco will square against France.