Laissé libre par Leganes, Nabil El Zhar signe au Qatar

Nabil El Zhar (ex-Leganes) a signé pour deux ans en faveur d'Al-Ahli au Qatar.
Nabil El Zhar rebondit au Qatar. Quelques jours après la résiliation à l'amiable du contrat qui le liait à Leganes, le milieu de terrain offensif international marocain s'est engagé pour deux ans en faveur d'Al-Ahli. A 32 ans, l'ancien joueur de Liverpool va vivre sa première expérience professionnelle hors d'Europe.



2019 Women's World Cup: Cameroon's loss to England ends Africa's journey

All three African teams – Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon – have crashed out of the tournament. South Africa at the group stage whiles Cameroon and Nigeria were eliminated at the round-of-16 stage.

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:

  • Cameroon lose to England
  • Nigeria vs Germany
  • Full draw for round-of-16
  • Nigeria sneaks into knockout as Thailand thwart Chile
  • Miracle of Montpellier: Cameroon makes knockout round
  • Cameroon vs. New Zealand – Permutations for Africa
  • Cameroon ready to face New Zealand
  • Nigeria beaten by France but could still progress
  • South Africa’s dismal outing ends with 4 – 0 rout
  • Nigeria face hosts, South Africa hope to end on a high
  • Africa’s remaining fixtures as at 15 – 06 – 2019
  • Cameroon lose to Netherlands
  • South Africa lose to China
  • 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

Cameroon lose to England

Africa’s participation at the World Cup ended on Sunday with Cameroo’s elimination from the competition after a three – nil loss to England in the round of 16 fixture.

The Indomitable Lionesses fell behind two – nil at half time before conceding a third in the second half.

Houghton scored in the 14th minute whiles White doubled it in added time of the first half. Alex Greenwood put the game beyond Cameroon with a 58th minute strike.

On Saturday, Nigeria’s Super Falcons had also crashed out of the competition after a similar scoreline loss ti Germany.

The two African reps made history with their qualification to the knockout phase – this was the first time Africa had two teams making the round-of-16 stage. The fixtures were seen as a tall order and supporters only hoped for an upset.

Breakdown of Nigerian stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup

Games played: Four
Goals scored: Two (against South Korea)
Goals conceded: Seven
Points gained: Three
Match Scores Group: 0 – 3 vs. Norway, 2 – 0 vs. South Korea, 0 – 1 vs. France
Match Score (round of 16): 0 – 3 vs. Germany

Breakdown of Cameroon stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup

Games: Four
Goals scored: Three (against Dutch, N. Zealand)
Goals against: Eight
Points: 3
Match Scores (group): 0 – 1 vs. Canada, 1 – 3 vs. Netherlands, 2 – 1 vs. N. Zealand
Match score (round of 16): 0 – 3 vs. England

Nigeria vs Germany

Africa’s record champions, Nigeria are hoping the fortunes favor them one more time as they take on Germany at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.

It is at this venue that the Super Falcons earned their sole win so far at the tournament, a 2-0 victory over South Korea in the group stages.

In Germany, they face an opponent that has defeated them twice at the Women’s World Cup.

“Germany is definitely one of the strongest teams, they have a lot of good players and they are extremely organised,” said Thomas Dennerby, Nigeria’s head coach.

“Maybe we can have a chance if we defend well to handle the forwards they have today and sooner or later we will get our chance.’‘

What next? Full draw for Round of 16:

Germany v Nigeria (Saturday, June 22)
Norway v Australia
England v Cameroon (Sunday, June 23)
France v Brazil
Spain v USA
Sweden v Canada
Italy v China
Netherlands v Japan

Africa bags historic qualification status

Nigeria’s hopes of qualification were in the balance at the start of two games in Group E and F. The first being Cameroon vs. New Zealand, which saw Cameroon go through.

In the case of the second of Thailand vs. Chile, the Chileans had it all to do but it took a resolute Thai side to hold off the onslaught and help Nigeria through by so doing.

Nigeria can qualify as one of the four third-best teams with the final round of games underway in France.

The game of interest being Thailand vs. Chile. The most likely team to go through being the South Americans. At half time, they are goalless but how can Chile qualify?

They need to close the goal difference gap on Nigeria. At the moment, Chile are lagging behind with -5. Nigeria’s goal difference is currently at -2.

Any victory by a minimum three-goal margin will see Chile move ahead of them. They would equal the goal difference but move ahead on goals scored.

A draw or a defeat for Chile and they would be going home. Thailand would need to win by 15 goals to go through!

Cameroon snatch qualification in victory over New Zealand

Cameroon won a tense game to secure qualification into the knock-out stages of the tournament with a last gasp goal.

The Lionesses scored all three goals in a 2 – 1 victory. The first goal came on the 57th minute mark through Ajara Nchout.

She controlled a ball into the box, with her back to goal and two defenders – Abby Erceg and Anna Green – just behind her. She spun both defenders and then slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

Near disaster struck on the 80th minute mark as Katie Bowen’s cross was turned in by Cameroon defender Aurelle Awona, for an own goal.

Ajara got her second in injury time with what was the last kick of the game sending Cameroon into the last 16.

“She gets the ball on the edge of the box, cuts inside Ria Percival, then cuts the other way past the defender, composes herself and then guides the ball into the corner of the net,” a BBC commentator said.

That goal was scored with 11 seconds to go. New Zealand meanwhile have to wait longer for their first win at the tournament.

Analysis: How a Cameroon win could affect Nigeria

With the game currently goaless at half-time: The race to finish in third position is up for grabs in Group E where Netherlands and Canada have already qualified.

For a 24-team tournament, aside the 12 teams that automatically qualify – first and second from the group stages – four other teams get to go through as third best from the groups.

Cameroon and New Zealand stand a chance of taking one of those slots depending on the outcome of today’s fixture.

So far, two of the four third-best slots have been filled by Brazil and China.Nigeria is in contention for one slot with their three points from winning against South Korea.

If Cameroon and New Zealand draw, they are both out. A win for any of them will take the permutations to goals difference and goals scored. If that balances out as per what Nigeria currently has, it will come down to fair play.

The BBC explains the fair play situation as follows: “Nigeria currently have eight disciplinary ‘points’ (one point for a yellow card, three points for a player getting two bookings, four points for a straight red, five points for a yellow and then a straight red). Cameroon have five – and New Zealand have none.”

Cameroon XI: Ngo Ndom, Ejangue, Awona, Johnson, Leuko, Nchout, Feudjio, Yango, Abam, Enganamouit, Onguene.

NZ XI: Nayler, Green, Stott, Erceg, Riley, Chance, Percival, Bowen, Duncan, Gregorious, White.

Other games slated for today are:
Netherlands vs. Canada
Sweden vs. USA
Thailand vs. Chile

Cameroon vs. New Zealand

Cameroon vs. New Zealand is slated for Thursday June 20 at Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier. The Indomitable Lionesses are hoping to record a victory and hopefully make it to the next stage as one of the third best sides.

The mission is however a tall order for a side that has yet to even get a point from their first two games. Losing narrowly to Canada in Montpellier and heavily to the Netherlands – both of whom have already qualified.

The Lionesses however say they are confident of ending the group phase on a high with an emphatic victory.

If they crash out, Africa’s hopes will depend on Nigeria who are also counting on luck to make it to the Round-of-16 stage after three points from three games. South Africa the other African side are already out of the tournament.

Nigeria banking hopes on luck

“The Super Falcons bowed narrowly to the hosts but they produced a glorious showing. They will wait for the outcome of games in the other groups to confirm their place in the last 16,” the official Twitter handle wrote after Monday night’s 1 – 0 loss to France.

The goal was, however, without controversy as a replayed spot kick proved to be the decider of a game the Nigerians had to at least draw to secure a place in the knock out stage.

The French side were awarded a penalty on the 74th minute mark. They failed to convert but the referee ordered a retake after the goalie was penalized for going off her line.

On the second attempt, the French player Renard converted the only goal of the game with Nigeria holding on with ten-men after a player was dismissed for the foul that gave the French the penalty.

South Africa hammered by rampant Germans

South Africa confirmed their exit from the tournament with a 4 – 0 loss to two-time champions Germany. The Banyana Banyana became the first team to officially exit the tournament.

Incidentally they are the only team in Group B to have failed to secure even a point in the group games.

The scored one goal through talisman Kgatlana in the opening game against Spain. They, however, conceded eight times. Three to Spain, one to China and four against Germany.

Breakdown of South Africa’s stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup

Games played: Three
Goals scored: One (against Spain)
Goals conceded: Eight
Points gained: Zero
Match Scores: 1 – 3 vs. Spain, 0 – 1 vs. China, 0 – 4 vs. Germany

Nigeria aim for qualification, SA aim to end on a high

Nigeria’s Super Falcons hold Africa’s best chance of progressing to the next stage of the tournament but they have to first secure at least a point against hosts France later today. They have three points from beating South Korea despite an opening day loss to Norway.

On the other hand, South Africa will be playing solely for pride against Germany given that the Banyana Banyana are already out of contention with two losses – to China and Spain.

The third African team will only take to the field on Thursday as Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses line up against New Zealand in their final game. They have also their two games – to Canada and the Netherlands.

Final fixtures for African sides

With virtually extinguished qualification chances for Cameroon’s Lionesses and South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, Nigeria’s Super Falcons remain the brightest chance of an African team progressing.

But they also have to come up against a very tough opponent in the hosts, France, who have already booked their place in the knockout rounds.

Here is the full itinerary for Africa’s next three games:

South Africa vs. Germany
Monday June 17 at Stade Oceane, Montpellier

Nigeria vs. France
Monday June 17 at Roazhon Park, Rennes

Cameroon vs. New Zealand
Thursday June 20 at Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier

Our stars to watch – have each scored so far

  • South Africa’s Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana, reigning African Player of the Year
  • Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, three-time African Player of the Year
  • Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene

READ MORE: All you need to know about 2019 Women’s World Cup

Cameroon fail on must-win Dutch mission

Cameroon took to the pitch on Saturday for their second game of the tournament, taking on European champions, Netherlands at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

The Indomitable Lionesses lost their second game by three goals to one after losing their opening game to Japan.

The Dutch took the lead after which Cameroon drew parity through Aboudi Onguene Gabri. The teams went into the half level. But the Dutch added two goals which the Lionesses had no answers to.

They needed a win to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage alive. That hope is all but shattered.

‘‘We respect the Netherlands. But that does not mean that this Saturday, we will sit back and admire their play. We will be out to show them what strengths we have,’‘ Henriette Akaba said ahead of the fixture.

Cameroon, made their debut at the World Cup in 2015, they progressed to the round of 16, after wins over Switzerland and Ecuador.

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.

2019 Women's World Cup: Nigeria eliminated after 0-3 loss to Germany

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:

  • Nigeria vs Germany
  • Full draw for round-of-16
  • Nigeria sneaks into knockout as Thailand thwart Chile
  • Miracle of Montpellier: Cameroon makes knockout round
  • Cameroon vs. New Zealand – Permutations for Africa
  • Cameroon ready to face New Zealand
  • Nigeria beaten by France but could still progress
  • South Africa’s dismal outing ends with 4 – 0 rout
  • Nigeria face hosts, South Africa hope to end on a high
  • Africa’s remaining fixtures as at 15 – 06 – 2019
  • Cameroon lose to Netherlands
  • South Africa lose to China
  • 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

Nigeria vs Germany

Africa’s record champions, Nigeria are hoping the fortunes favor them one more time as they take on Germany at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.

It is at this venue that the Super Falcons earned their sole win so far at the tournament, a 2-0 victory over South Korea in the group stages.

In Germany, they face an opponent that has defeated them twice at the Women’s World Cup.

“Germany is definitely one of the strongest teams, they have a lot of good players and they are extremely organised,” said Thomas Dennerby, Nigeria’s head coach.

“Maybe we can have a chance if we defend well to handle the forwards they have today and sooner or later we will get our chance.’‘

What next? Full draw for Round of 16:

Germany v Nigeria (Saturday, June 22)
Norway v Australia
England v Cameroon (Sunday, June 23)
France v Brazil
Spain v USA
Sweden v Canada
Italy v China
Netherlands v Japan

Africa bags historic qualification status

Nigeria’s hopes of qualification were in the balance at the start of two games in Group E and F. The first being Cameroon vs. New Zealand, which saw Cameroon go through.

In the case of the second of Thailand vs. Chile, the Chileans had it all to do but it took a resolute Thai side to hold off the onslaught and help Nigeria through by so doing.

Nigeria can qualify as one of the four third-best teams with the final round of games underway in France.

The game of interest being Thailand vs. Chile. The most likely team to go through being the South Americans. At half time, they are goalless but how can Chile qualify?

They need to close the goal difference gap on Nigeria. At the moment, Chile are lagging behind with -5. Nigeria’s goal difference is currently at -2.

Any victory by a minimum three-goal margin will see Chile move ahead of them. They would equal the goal difference but move ahead on goals scored.

A draw or a defeat for Chile and they would be going home. Thailand would need to win by 15 goals to go through!

Cameroon snatch qualification in victory over New Zealand

Cameroon won a tense game to secure qualification into the knock-out stages of the tournament with a last gasp goal.

The Lionesses scored all three goals in a 2 – 1 victory. The first goal came on the 57th minute mark through Ajara Nchout.

She controlled a ball into the box, with her back to goal and two defenders – Abby Erceg and Anna Green – just behind her. She spun both defenders and then slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.

Near disaster struck on the 80th minute mark as Katie Bowen’s cross was turned in by Cameroon defender Aurelle Awona, for an own goal.

Ajara got her second in injury time with what was the last kick of the game sending Cameroon into the last 16.

“She gets the ball on the edge of the box, cuts inside Ria Percival, then cuts the other way past the defender, composes herself and then guides the ball into the corner of the net,” a BBC commentator said.

That goal was scored with 11 seconds to go. New Zealand meanwhile have to wait longer for their first win at the tournament.

Analysis: How a Cameroon win could affect Nigeria

With the game currently goaless at half-time: The race to finish in third position is up for grabs in Group E where Netherlands and Canada have already qualified.

For a 24-team tournament, aside the 12 teams that automatically qualify – first and second from the group stages – four other teams get to go through as third best from the groups.

Cameroon and New Zealand stand a chance of taking one of those slots depending on the outcome of today’s fixture.

So far, two of the four third-best slots have been filled by Brazil and China.Nigeria is in contention for one slot with their three points from winning against South Korea.

If Cameroon and New Zealand draw, they are both out. A win for any of them will take the permutations to goals difference and goals scored. If that balances out as per what Nigeria currently has, it will come down to fair play.

The BBC explains the fair play situation as follows: “Nigeria currently have eight disciplinary ‘points’ (one point for a yellow card, three points for a player getting two bookings, four points for a straight red, five points for a yellow and then a straight red). Cameroon have five – and New Zealand have none.”

Cameroon XI: Ngo Ndom, Ejangue, Awona, Johnson, Leuko, Nchout, Feudjio, Yango, Abam, Enganamouit, Onguene.

NZ XI: Nayler, Green, Stott, Erceg, Riley, Chance, Percival, Bowen, Duncan, Gregorious, White.

Other games slated for today are:
Netherlands vs. Canada
Sweden vs. USA
Thailand vs. Chile

Cameroon vs. New Zealand

Cameroon vs. New Zealand is slated for Thursday June 20 at Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier. The Indomitable Lionesses are hoping to record a victory and hopefully make it to the next stage as one of the third best sides.

The mission is however a tall order for a side that has yet to even get a point from their first two games. Losing narrowly to Canada in Montpellier and heavily to the Netherlands – both of whom have already qualified.

The Lionesses however say they are confident of ending the group phase on a high with an emphatic victory.

If they crash out, Africa’s hopes will depend on Nigeria who are also counting on luck to make it to the Round-of-16 stage after three points from three games. South Africa the other African side are already out of the tournament.

Nigeria banking hopes on luck

“The Super Falcons bowed narrowly to the hosts but they produced a glorious showing. They will wait for the outcome of games in the other groups to confirm their place in the last 16,” the official Twitter handle wrote after Monday night’s 1 – 0 loss to France.

The goal was, however, without controversy as a replayed spot kick proved to be the decider of a game the Nigerians had to at least draw to secure a place in the knock out stage.

The French side were awarded a penalty on the 74th minute mark. They failed to convert but the referee ordered a retake after the goalie was penalized for going off her line.

On the second attempt, the French player Renard converted the only goal of the game with Nigeria holding on with ten-men after a player was dismissed for the foul that gave the French the penalty.

Breakdown of Nigerian stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup

Games played: Three
Goals scored: Two (against South Korea)
Goals conceded: Four
Points gained: Three
Match Scores: 0 – 3 vs. Norway, 2 – 0 vs. South Korea, 0 – 1 vs. France

South Africa hammered by rampant Germans

South Africa confirmed their exit from the tournament with a 4 – 0 loss to two-time champions Germany. The Banyana Banyana became the first team to officially exit the tournament.

Incidentally they are the only team in Group B to have failed to secure even a point in the group games.

The scored one goal through talisman Kgatlana in the opening game against Spain. They, however, conceded eight times. Three to Spain, one to China and four against Germany.

Breakdown of South Africa’s stats at 2019 Women’s World Cup

Games played: Three
Goals scored: One (against Spain)
Goals conceded: Eight
Points gained: Zero
Match Scores: 1 – 3 vs. Spain, 0 – 1 vs. China, 0 – 4 vs. Germany

Nigeria aim for qualification, SA aim to end on a high

Nigeria’s Super Falcons hold Africa’s best chance of progressing to the next stage of the tournament but they have to first secure at least a point against hosts France later today. They have three points from beating South Korea despite an opening day loss to Norway.

On the other hand, South Africa will be playing solely for pride against Germany given that the Banyana Banyana are already out of contention with two losses – to China and Spain.

The third African team will only take to the field on Thursday as Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses line up against New Zealand in their final game. They have also their two games – to Canada and the Netherlands.

Final fixtures for African sides

With virtually extinguished qualification chances for Cameroon’s Lionesses and South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, Nigeria’s Super Falcons remain the brightest chance of an African team progressing.

But they also have to come up against a very tough opponent in the hosts, France, who have already booked their place in the knockout rounds.

Here is the full itinerary for Africa’s next three games:

South Africa vs. Germany
Monday June 17 at Stade Oceane, Montpellier

Nigeria vs. France
Monday June 17 at Roazhon Park, Rennes

Cameroon vs. New Zealand
Thursday June 20 at Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier

Our stars to watch – have each scored so far

  • South Africa’s Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana, reigning African Player of the Year
  • Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala, three-time African Player of the Year
  • Cameroon’s Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene

READ MORE: All you need to know about 2019 Women’s World Cup

Cameroon fail on must-win Dutch mission

Cameroon took to the pitch on Saturday for their second game of the tournament, taking on European champions, Netherlands at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.

The Indomitable Lionesses lost their second game by three goals to one after losing their opening game to Japan.

The Dutch took the lead after which Cameroon drew parity through Aboudi Onguene Gabri. The teams went into the half level. But the Dutch added two goals which the Lionesses had no answers to.

They needed a win to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage alive. That hope is all but shattered.

‘‘We respect the Netherlands. But that does not mean that this Saturday, we will sit back and admire their play. We will be out to show them what strengths we have,’‘ Henriette Akaba said ahead of the fixture.

Cameroon, made their debut at the World Cup in 2015, they progressed to the round of 16, after wins over Switzerland and Ecuador.

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.

LIVE: Egypt beat Zimbabwe by lone goal in AFCON opener

The tournament is historic for several reasons including the fact that 24 teams are participating for the first time, and it is being held in the June/July window rather than January/February.

The Africa Cup of Nations will kick-off on Friday evening with the much anticipated match between the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Zimbabwe Warriors.

The tournament is historic for several reasons including the fact that 24 teams are participating for the first time, and it is being held in the June/July window rather than January/February.

In this article, we’ll share updates and developments ahead of the tournament opener including the following;

  • All set for Egypt vs. Zimbabwe
  • Al Sisi’s welcome and colourful ceremony – Video
  • Expectations for the opening ceremony
  • Cameroon players strike
  • Predictions: Zimbabwe vs Egypt
  • How AFCON works
  • Stars to watch
  • Africanews’ special coverage

Egypt vs. Zimbabwe major highlights

78’: Zimbabwe forced to sub goalie after injury. Both sides have exhausted their substitutions with ten minutes to the end of the game. Goal scorer Trezeguet has been pulled off.

Zimbabwe: E. CHIPEZEZE comes in for E. SIBANDA
Zimbabwe: E. RUSIKE comes in for MUSHEKWI
Zimbabwe: T. CHAWAPIWA comes in for K. MUSONA
Egypt: A. WARDA comes in for A. EL SAID
Egypt: N. DONGA comes in for M. TREZEGUET

66’: Fairly balanced exchanges as Zimbabwe hope to come back into the game and the hosts looking earnestly to bolster their lead in Cairo.

First substitute of the AFCON made by Egypt. W. SOLIMAN comes in for M. MOHSEN

Second Half kicks off

45’: HALF TIME, Egypt lead by a lone goal scored by Trezeguet.

42‘: Egypt pressing for a second as the game rolls towards the half way mark. Salah still pulling strings to help bolster the lead. Still 1-0 to the hosts.

41’: Egypt take the lead through Trezeguet

The two sides had had a fairly balanced exchange as Billiat forced a save from Egypt goalie Elshenawy. But at the other end the Egyptians manage to get the much needed goal.

24’: Rare attack at the other end as Zimbabwe’s attempt on goal is blocked, relief for Team Egypt and the fans.

22’: Egypt still piling on the pressure with repeated incursions into the Zimbabwean area.

15’: Huge pressure from Egypt but the Zimbabweans holding out fairly well.

10’: The home side appear the busiest in search for an early lead that could add to the pressure the Warriors of Zimbabwe are already faced with. But the goalkeeper thwarting repeated Egyptian incursions.

3’: Early pressure from hosts: Salah set up two crossing chances in the first two minutes; however, Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper clears both headers.

Line up for opening game: Egypt vs. Zimbabwe

Al-Sisi welcomes guests to their second home

Among the dignitaries in the VIP box at the Cairo International Stadium for the opening ceremony were the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi – the only person who delivered a message of welcome.

The other African president sighted ins Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was president along with CAF president Ahmad Ahmad. Other big wigs of CAF and the Egyptian FA were also present.

Relive the opening ceremony here:

Expectations for the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the tournament will be graced by several high profile personalities including FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Nigeria’s legendary musician Femi Kuti.

Femi Kuti, will perform the official song of this year’s AFCON, along with Egypt’s Hakim and Ivory Coast’s Dobet Gnahore.

The official song is titled ‘Metgameen’ which translates as ‘We Are Together’.

Poll: Zimbabwe vs Egypt

Live Updates

LIVE: AFCON opening Ceremony, Egypt beat Zimbabwe in opener

The tournament is historic for several reasons including the fact that 24 teams are participating for the first time, and it is being held in the June/July window rather than January/February.

The Africa Cup of Nations will kick-off on Friday evening with the much anticipated match between the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Zimbabwe Warriors.

The tournament is historic for several reasons including the fact that 24 teams are participating for the first time, and it is being held in the June/July window rather than January/February.

In this article, we’ll share updates and developments ahead of the tournament opener including the following;

  • Egypt vs. Zimbabwe highlights
  • Al Sisi’s welcome and colourful ceremony – Video
  • Expectations for the opening ceremony
  • Cameroon players strike
  • Predictions: Zimbabwe vs Egypt
  • How AFCON works
  • Stars to watch
  • Africanews’ special coverage

Egypt vs. Zimbabwe major highlights

78’: Zimbabwe forced to sub goalie after injury. Both sides have exhausted their substitutions with ten minutes to the end of the game. Goal scorer Trezeguet has been pulled off.

Zimbabwe: E. CHIPEZEZE comes in for E. SIBANDA
Zimbabwe: E. RUSIKE comes in for MUSHEKWI
Zimbabwe: T. CHAWAPIWA comes in for K. MUSONA
Egypt: A. WARDA comes in for A. EL SAID
Egypt: N. DONGA comes in for M. TREZEGUET

66’: Fairly balanced exchanges as Zimbabwe hope to come back into the game and the hosts looking earnestly to bolster their lead in Cairo.

First substitute of the AFCON made by Egypt. W. SOLIMAN comes in for M. MOHSEN

Second Half kicks off

45’: HALF TIME, Egypt lead by a lone goal scored by Trezeguet.

42‘: Egypt pressing for a second as the game rolls towards the half way mark. Salah still pulling strings to help bolster the lead. Still 1-0 to the hosts.

41’: Egypt take the lead through Trezeguet

The two sides had had a fairly balanced exchange as Billiat forced a save from Egypt goalie Elshenawy. But at the other end the Egyptians manage to get the much needed goal.

24’: Rare attack at the other end as Zimbabwe’s attempt on goal is blocked, relief for Team Egypt and the fans.

22’: Egypt still piling on the pressure with repeated incursions into the Zimbabwean area.

15’: Huge pressure from Egypt but the Zimbabweans holding out fairly well.

10’: The home side appear the busiest in search for an early lead that could add to the pressure the Warriors of Zimbabwe are already faced with. But the goalkeeper thwarting repeated Egyptian incursions.

3’: Early pressure from hosts: Salah set up two crossing chances in the first two minutes; however, Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper clears both headers.

Line up for opening game: Egypt vs. Zimbabwe

Al-Sisi welcomes guests to their second home

Among the dignitaries in the VIP box at the Cairo International Stadium for the opening ceremony were the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi – the only person who delivered a message of welcome.

The other African president sighted ins Mozambique’s Filipe Nyusi. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was president along with CAF president Ahmad Ahmad. Other big wigs of CAF and the Egyptian FA were also present.

Relive the opening ceremony here:

Expectations for the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the tournament will be graced by several high profile personalities including FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Nigeria’s legendary musician Femi Kuti.

Femi Kuti, will perform the official song of this year’s AFCON, along with Egypt’s Hakim and Ivory Coast’s Dobet Gnahore.

The official song is titled ‘Metgameen’ which translates as ‘We Are Together’.

Poll: Zimbabwe vs Egypt

Live Updates

Sepp Blatter, UEFA and Tanzania boss resist FIFA takeover of African football

Global football governing body FIFA have appointed General Fatma Samoura as “FIFA General Delegate for Africa” for a 6-month period from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, renewable with the agreem

Sepp Blatter condemns FIFA decision

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has joined critics of the decision to take over management of African football, questioning the role that the compliance committee is playing at the global body.

‘‘Quo vadis FIFA? African Football under control, new colonialism? Well done courageous Leodegar Tenga! Is the compliance committee sleeping?’‘ Blatter tweeted on Friday evening.

Blatter was president of FIFA for 17 years until he was kicked out of the position by the Ethics Committee on charges of coruption and financial mismanagement. He has since been banned from taking part in any FIFA activities until 2022.

Did CAF approve FIFA takeover?

Blatter was referring to the Tanzania football boss, Tanga who has cast doubt on whether the CAF Executive Committee approved FIFA’s plans as claimed in the joint statement issued on Thursday.

In leaked messages that Tanga reportedly sent to a CAF Whatsapp group, the Tanzanian football official argues that while the members agreed to the FIFA takeover in principle, there was no agreement on the details of how the cooperation would be implemented.

“There is no doubt that at our Exco Meeting yesterday (Wednesday), we unanimously agreed that, in principle, we do agree to the cooperation between FIFA and CAF would lead to promoting integrity, ethical practice and FairPlay and eradicating corruption,” Tanga wrote.

“But we also agreed that Exco members would be given time to go through the proposed text and come up with the details of the cooperation.’‘

Tanga further argues that English-speaking members of the committee had asked for translated versions of the briefing documents that were written in French.

According to Tanga, a final decision on the matter was to be reached at an Exco meeting next month.

“Finally, it was agreed that the matter will be discussed at the forthcoming Exco Meeting (of 16th July, two days before the Ordinary General Assembly) where details and mode of cooperation would be sorted out.”

UEFA resists FIFA’s decision

FIFA’s decision to take a prominent role in the affairs of football in Africa have been resisted by the European football federation (UEFA).

Aleksander Ceferin, the head of European football, was among the FIFA vice presidents asked by Infantino on Thursday to approve plans to appoint FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura as FIFA General Delegate for Africa.

Ceferin said Infantino’s proposal was received at 1:50 a.m. Thursday and a response was sought by 10:30 a.m.

“I cannot be expected to have your proposal examined by UEFA’s legal team or consult the European members of the FIFA Council on a subject of such great importance in such a short time,” Ceferin wrote to Infantino in a letter seen by The Associated Press.

“Never in the history of our institutions has the FIFA Secretary General, who under the FIFA Statutes leads the organization, been placed on secondment to take control of a confederation, even with the latter’s consent.”

Ceferin is a member of the FIFA Council, which features the regional confederation leaders who serve as vice presidents of the global governing body.

Ceferin said Samoura becoming FIFA General Delegate for Africa while retaining the title of secretary general “raises a large number of questions and in particular the likelihood of ‘conflicts of interest’ as well as doubts over whether it complies with the statutes of FIFA and the CAF.”

“Without our legal analysis of the situation and consultation of the European members of the FIFA Council, I am not at liberty to approve the proposal you put forward.”

Samoura, a Senegalese former United Nations official, became FIFA’s first female secretary general in 2016 after Infantino’s election.

Ceferin has asked Infantino for an “accurate description of the role and powers of the FIFA General Delegate for Africa, an accurate description of the way FIFA would function in her absence.”

“At this stage, I am not in possession of enough information or assurances on this subject to be able to approve the proposal,” Ceferin wrote to Infantino.

“For these various reasons, I am sure you will fully understand that, in the current state of affairs and without additional information from you, I cannot approve the proposal set out in your letter sent to the FIFA Bureau of the Council members to appoint a FIFA General Delegate for Africa.”

AP

FIFA takes over management of African football

Global football governing body FIFA have appointed General Fatma Samoura as “FIFA General Delegate for Africa” for a 6-month period from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, renewable with the agreement of both organisations.

The agreement, announced in a joint statement, effectively sees FIFA take over the management of football on the African continent.

‘‘FIFA and CAF will work closely together in order to best serve all African Member Associations to bring stability, serenity, professionalism and effective football development on the African continent,’‘ read part of the statement.

Under the new arrangement, Samoura, who still retains her position as Secretary General of FIFA, will work with CAF president Ahmad and a team of experts to oversee the following;

  • To oversee operational management of CAF, including governance and administrative procedures,
  • To ensure the efficient and professional organization of all CAF competitions;
  • To support the growth and development of football in all countries and regions of CAF

‘‘As part of this process, it was also agreed that FIFA and CAF will undertake as soon as possible a full forensic audit of CAF.’‘

Ahmad, was recently detained by authorities in France, and is also being investigated by FIFA over allegations that he unduly influenced a CAF decision to to buy sportswear through a French company rather than directly from manufacturers and at inflated prices.

READ MORE: CAF president freed without charge after French graft probe

FIFA’s pursuit of a clean image

With FIFA seeking to improve football’s image, the Ahmad controversy has come as major embarrassment to Infantino, who has been claiming a new-look, clean and corruption-free FIFA.

Ahmad, by virtue of his position as leader of African football, is automatically a FIFA vice president.

African football has been rocked not only by the firing of CAF general secretary Amr Fahmy for whistle blowing, but also a walk off in the Champions League final and the alleged assault on a referee by another of CAF’s vice presidents.

The Cup of Nations kicks off in Cairo on Friday when hosts Egypt take on Zimbabwe.