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African Teams Off To Disappointing Start At Women’s World Cup With No Win Yet

Now that all African teams have finished their first round of matches, Nigeria will be seeking to break the continent's winless run in the competition.


 

Africa’s four representatives at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup began the tournament last week with something of a whimper, playing one game each without a single win.

The continent is being represented by Nigeria who have participated in all editions of the competition; champions, South Africa; Morocco, and Zambia.

While all teams have played four matches, they only have a draw to show for it. That point came from Nigeria who battled to a barren draw with Olympic champions, Canada.

Resolute Super Falcons

The Super Falcons were resolute against the North Americans and had goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie to thank after she saved veteran Christine Sinclair’s penalty in the Group B tie.

Zambia’s Rude Welcome

Japan’s midfielder #15 Aoba Fujino heads the ball towards goal during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group C football match between Zambia and Japan at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on July 22, 2023. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

 

Following the game, which was the first by an African side in the competition, attention shifted to the Copper Queens of Zambia.

But the debutants got a rude welcome. Hinata Miyazawa scored twice as former champions Japan smashed them 5-0 in the Group C clash at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand.

South African Heartbreak

A day after that, South Africa took to the stage, aiming to write their names in the history books when they faced Sweden. Against the odds, they scored first in the second half but the number three-ranked team on the globe equalised and grabbed a 90th-minute winner to leave the Banyana Banyana heartbroken.

Morocco’s Baptism Of Fire

Morocco’s goalkeeper #01 Khadija Er-Rmichi (L) tries to save the ball during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup Group H football match between Germany and Morocco at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, also known as AAMI Park, in Melbourne on July 24, 2023. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP)

 

Just as the South Africans were nursing that agonising defeat, Morocco crashed 6-0 to Germany.

While Morocco made history as the first Arab team to feature at the Women’s World Cup, talismanic striker Alexandra Popp scored twice as Germany in what was the biggest mismatch of the group stage, with 70 places separating both sides in the world rankings.

Eyes On Nigeria

The Super Falcons have played in all editions of the competition. Twitter@NGSuper_Falcons

 

Now that all African teams have finished their first round of matches, Nigeria will be seeking to break the continent’s winless run in the competition. They take on co-hosts Australia on Thursday morning (WAT).

Victory will be almost enough to give Coach Randy Waldrum’s girls a second consecutive knockout stage appearance in the global football showpiece.