2019 Women's World Cup: South Africa's dreams dashed by loss to China

In this rolling coverage, Africanews keeps up to date with the major ongoings around the three African teams – Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon.

The 2019 Women’s World Cup kicked off last Friday with 24 teams in the race to be crowned “queens” of the game over the month-long tournament in France.



There are 24 teams classed into six groups. Africa’s representatives are Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Banyana Banyana of South Africa and the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon.



The groups with African representatives are as follows:

GROUP A: France (hosts), Korea Republic, Norway, Nigeria

GROUP B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa

GROUP E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands



In this rolling coverage, Africanews keeps up to date with the major ongoings around the three African teams.



You can read about the following major areas by scrolling below:



  • Match Day: South Africa vs. China in Paris

  • Match Report: Nigeria vs. Korea in Grenoble

  • Match Report: Cameroon’s narrow loss to Canada

  • Rolling updates on African representatives

  • Summary of 8th WWC and France hosting

  • Match report: South Africa vs. Spain

  • Match report: Nigeria vs. Norway



South Africa lose to China



South Africa’s hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the World Cup were shattered by a 0-1 loss to China on Thursday.



China striker Li Ying scored the only goal in the Group B clash at the Parc des Princes, a result that ensured Germany and France progress to the second round.



‘‘They were once again magnificent. We conceded from a set-piece. We lost concentration there. We had ample opportunities,’‘ South Africa’s coach Desiree Ellis said after the game.



Debutants South Africa are now likely out of contention after two defeats, but China face a do-or-die final pool match against Spain on Monday, when they will need victory to progress given their inferior goal difference.



China had the majority of possession in the first half as the South Africans battled to keep hold of the ball, their wayward passing inviting pressure from the Asian side.



The Banyana Banyana’s final game will be against Germany in Montpellier.





Nigeria beat South Korea



The Super Falcons took a first half lead against South Korea in Grenoble when the opponents scored an own-goal thanks to Korea’s Kim Doyeon.



After resumption of the game, Nigeria looked the better side of the two teams and translated their work into a second goal with a huge effort from Asisat Oshoala, increasing the tally to two.



The team held on to the lead and ended the game with three points and a clean sheet after taking three from Norway in their first game. The Super Falcons will now look to the final fixture against France.



They became the first African side to bag three points. South Africa who play tomorrow were beaten 3 – 1 by Spain whiles Cameroon lost narrowly to Canada 1 – 0. Africa has at this stage conceded seven and score three.






Nigeria suffers injury blow



The BBC is reporting of some bad news in the Nigerian camp. Veteran defender Faith Michael has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament through injury.



The 32-year-old was stretchered off following a clash with team-mate goalkeeper Oluehi during their 3-0 opening defeat to Norway.



The Super Falcons will now have to attend to Wednesday’s make or break fixture against South Korea without her services.





Match Day: Nigeria takes on Korea after Norway loss



In the city of Grenoble’s Stade de Alpes, Nigeria’s Super Falcons will be looking to do better as they come up against Korea in their second fixture at the tournament.



The first leg drabbing of 3 – 0 at the hands of Norway makes this tie even more crucial given that their final tie will be against hosts, France.



Meanwhile, France plays Norway in NIce today with Germany Spain finishing the day’s set of games. South Africa who lost to Spain will be playing tomorrow.






Match Report: Cameroon’s narrow loss to Canada



Cameroon, Africa’s third representative at the competition failed to take a point off Canada at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier.



The Lionesses succumbed to a 1 – 0 defeat conceding the goal in the latter stages of the first hald.



Cameroon’s Michaela Abam described the fixture as “the day we’ve all been waiting for…to start this journey finally. We ask for all Cameroonians around the world for your continuous support as we continue on this marathon run in this tournament.”






Super Falcons of Nigeria



Nigeria, are the reigning African champions and are hoping to better their record at the Women’s World Cup and go all the way to the July 7 final.



The nine-time African champions having fallen to Norway will now have to reset their tactics in upcoming fixtures against hosts France and Korea Republic.



Banyana Banyana of South Africa



South Africa, who are featuring at the Women’s World Cup for the first time, are the rising star of the continent.



The Banyana Banyana have the reigning African player of the year, Thembi Kgatlana, who was the top-scorer at th Nations Cup (AWCON 2018) last year. The runners-up at AWCON 2018, have to face two-time champions Germany and China after the Spain pain.



Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon



Cameroon secured their place at the World Cup by beating Mali in the third place play-off at AWCON 2018 which took place in Ghana earlier this year.



They are in Group E and are billed to slug it out with European champions Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand.





Summary




  • 1991, year first tournament held

  • 3 times, record champions USA have won

  • $30m, prize money at 2019 tournament

  • 24, number of teams at France 2019

  • 3, number of African teams at tournament

  • 9, stadiums and cities hosting matches

  • 15, record goals scored at the World Cup (by Brazil’s Marta)

  • France, hosts this year

  • Quarter-finals, highest stage reached by African team (Nigeria)



Match Report: South Africa’s bright start cut short by rampant Spain



Jennifer Hermoso netted two second-half penalties and substitute Lucia Garcia added a last-minute goal as Spain came from behind to beat South Africa 3-1 at the women’s World Cup on Saturday.



Hermoso tucked away spot-kicks in the 69th and 82nd minutes to give Spain a winning start to their Group B campaign after South Africa, in their maiden appearance at the finals, took a surprise first-half lead.



The first penalty came after a handball by South Africa captain Janine van Wyk and the second after follow through tackle by full back Nothando Vilakazi on Garcia which earned Vilakazi a second yellow card and a dismissal.



South Africa were on for a shock win after Thembi Kgatlana struck a powerful shot from the corner of the penalty area over the head of Spain goalkeeper Sandra Panos in the 25th minute.



The goal came after the South Africans had weathered Spain’s early dominance with desperate defending and then began to look threatening on the counter-attack.



African Women’s Footballer of the Year Kgatlana could have made it 2-0 but fluffed a tap-in opportunity at the back post in the 57th minute, not long after Hermoso had come close to an equaliser by striking the crossbar.



But Spain’s superior fitness saw them dominate the last half hour and there were other chances for a more commanding scoreline.



Garcia’s goal came from a ball straight down the middle of the pitch as she outsprinted the defence.



Match Report: African champions, Nigeria, cut to size by Norway



Ada Hegerberg was not needed as Norway kicked off their women’s World Cup Group A campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Nigeria on Saturday.



Without Ballon d’Or winner Hegerberg, who quit international football in 2017 due to a dispute with her home federation, the 1995 champions relied on goals by Guro Reiten, Lisa-Marie Karlseng Utland and an own goal by Osinachi Phale to prevail.



The result put Norway in second place in Group A behind hosts France, who thrashed South Korea 4-0 on Friday in the opening game of the month-long tournament in Paris.



Reiten put Norway in front after 17 minutes when she volleyed home from a corner.



Utland doubled the tally with a powerful shot from close range after being set up by Reiten in the 34th.



Three minutes later, three-times African champions Nigeria were completely overwhelmed as Ohale deflected Isabell Herlovsen’s cross into her own goal.



Norway next face France in Nice on Wednesday while Nigeria take on South Korea in Grenoble the same day.

Orlando Pirates vs AmaZulu: Prediction, head-to-head and kick-off time

Copyright -Photo: Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates will face AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership tie at at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday. Following two successive losses, AmaZulu are 16th on the PSL league standings without a single point, having played two matches in their 2019-20 league campaign. However, AmaZulu's midfielder Siyethembe Sithebe is confident that they can secure their first win of the season against Pirates. "We all know that Orlando Pirates are a team that likes to run, they move a lot, we will have to catch them on the counter-attack and exploit the spaces between the midfielders," Sithebe said. "I’d say that we still have time to catch up and gain points, we have to keep working hard to win the upcoming games because the league is very unpredictable." On the other hand, Orlando Pirates have registered their third loss this new season and they are in the ninth spot on the league standings with three points from two ties. Priates’ caretaker coach Rulani Mokwena believes that this game can be a chance for redemption. “At this moment we’ve had to do a lot of analysis, use video to improve the team and cover some of the cracks in the interim,” Mokwena said. “But keep on working to try and improve; work on the players’ confidence because the most important thing is to bounce back and help these players to continue to believe in themselves.” In their previous meetings, Pirates have won 9 clashes, while AmaZulu have registered only 3 wins. The two sides drew 11 times. Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT. This tie can be tricky, so a scoring draw is strongly expected as the final result tonight.

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Cape Town City: Prediction, head-to-head and kick-off time

Copyright -Sundowns-via Twitter
After the two sides’ weekend cup matches, Mamelodi Sundowns will take on Cape Town City FC in an Absa Premiership clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday evening. The two teams are on equal level on points on the PSL current standing, separated only by a one goal difference. Cape Town City were eliminated of the Cup competition over the weekend by Polokwane City, Sundowns, on the other hand, were victorious, defeating Bloemfontein Celtic in a 3-1 score. In their previous meetings, Sundowns have won 11 times, while City have won 8 matches. The two teams drew only in 2 occasions. Kick-off is at 7.30pm CAT. As for the prediction, Mamelodi Sundowns are expected to win and score at least two goals this evening, regarding previous results and performance. Downs coach Pitso Mosimane commented on this week’s upcoming tie: “It’s good we came back. It shows experience and character. We never panicked. This time we got the subs right. Last week I got it wrong. You learn in football. We kept the balance. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong,” He added: “We’ve got a game now on Wednesday and it’s not an easy one. And then the biggest on Saturday [when Sundowns will face AS Otoho in the Caf Champions League game].”

Ivorian legend Didier Drogba aims for presidency of football federation

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Former Ivorian international Didier Drogba is running for president of the Ivorian Football Federation, FIF; according to local media reports.

The former Chelsea man is reported to have filed his application for elections slated to be held later this year.

The 41-year-old will face competition from among others, a former playing colleague and turned politician Bonaventure Kalou, who was in October 2018 elected mayor of the municipality of Vavoua.

Incumbent president Augustin Sidy Diallo, will be another candidate to beat. He has been in the role since 2011. The final list of candidates should be known in the coming weeks according to reports.

Recently retired Drogba is on record to have voiced ambitions of heading the football federation in the West African country.

“It’s something that interests me: I want to get more involved. I think more and more about it. I know Ivorian football, I have played in selection for years and I invested in Ivorian football lately …

“I have not made my decision yet, but, if all conditions are met, why not?” he said in an interview on French broadcaster, RFI.

Nigeria football body backs Samson Siasia after FIFA life ban

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has finally reacted to last week’s life ban imposed on former player and manager, Samson Siasia by a committee of football world governing body, FIFA.

The NFF in an August 19 statement said its lawyers were reviewing the decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee. The Committee last Friday announced that it had placed a life ban from all football-related activities on Siasia.

FIFA said in a statement on Friday that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

The NFF’s Acting President, Seyi Akinwunmi, said on Monday that the Federation had already reached out to the former U20, U23 and Super Eagles head coach and is aware that he is receiving appropriate legal advice.

“The NFF was shocked to learn of the investigation and subsequent decision by the FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) placing a life ban on Mr. Samson Siasia.

“But we have however now received documents, including one known as the Motivated Decision, and we have handed them to our lawyers to study and provide legal advice to the Federation.

“It is a massive sanction on one of our legends. Siasia is a fooball legend but most importantly he is a Nigerian. We must therefore be interested in the matter and be properly advised.”

The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016.

Akinwunmi added: “Siasia gave his all for Nigeria, playing for the U20 team right from his secondary school days and then for the senior team for several years, and also coaching the U20 and U23 teams and the Super Eagles.

“While we respect the FIFA processes and appreciate that an investigation was conducted prior to the decision, the least we as a Federation can do is empathise with him at this time, make ourselves available to him and hope that in some way he is able to clear his name as he has promised to do.”

The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer” and who has admitted such activity in several interviews.

FIFA said that he was banned for life “from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.” Siasia was also been fined CHF 50,000 ($51,051.66). ($1 = 0.9794 Swiss francs)

South Africa beat Argentina in friendly at Pretoria

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World

Sibusiso Nkosi scored two brilliant tries as South Africa beat Argentina 24-18 on Saturday in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Pretoria.

The winger struck in each half for the Springboks, who found the going much tougher than last weekend when they hammered the Pumas by 33 points in Salta to win the Rugby Championship.

South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World Cup opener.

All the other South African points at Loftus Versfeld came from fly-half Elton Jantjies, who kicked a conversion and four penalties.

Forwards Guido Petti and skipper Pablo Matera each scored a try for Argentina. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and a penalty and Benjamin Urdapilleta a penalty.

South Africa skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi showed no ill effects from a knee injury sustained last May before coming off after 53 minutes of his first international appearance this season.

Coach Rassie Erasmus wanted Kolisi to concentrate on his personal performance so he did not restore the captaincy. Instead veteran hooker Schalk Brits became, at 38 the second oldest Springbok to lead the team.

Although Argentina suffered a ninth consecutive loss, there was encouragement for coach Mario Ledesma from a much improved scrummaging performance, that won several penalties.

The Pumas thought they had taken the lead with three minutes left when debutant Lucas Mensa touched down, but the try was disallowed for obstruction by fellow centre Jeronimo de la Fuente.

South Africa started with an entirely different team from the one that crushed Argentina 46-13 last weekend in Salta to win the Rugby Championship for the first time. Argentina made 10 changes after being humiliated at home.

Springboks flanker Marcell Coetzee was off on 17 minutes and could not return after failing a head injury assessment test.

South Africa dominated territory and possession, but had to wait 20 minutes before being rewarded when Jantjies kicked a 22-metre penalty from in front of the posts.

Argentina had their first scoring chance seven minutes later. Diaz Bonilla succeeded with a more difficult penalty kick than that of Jantjies.

A stop-start half was crying out for a try. It finally arrived on 32 minutes when slick handling allowed Nkosi to step inside one opponent before holding off two others to score.

Jantjies struck a post with his conversion attempt leaving South Africa with an 8-3 advantage that did not adequately reflect their superiority.

That lead evaporated in additional time at the end of the half when Petti intercepted a pass from scrum-half Cobus Reinach and, showing amazing pace for a lock, scored between the posts.

Bonilla converted and the Pumas led 10-8 at the break despite being on the back foot for much of the opening 40 minutes.

The highlight of the second half was the second Nkosi try on 48 minutes, which gave the Springboks a lead they never surrendered.

Seemingly hemmed in, he beat three Pumas and then dived over Sebastian Cancelliere to raise his Test try tally to seven since debuting last season.