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.

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CAF releases nearly CFA120 million for member states

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