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Three African Teams Make Women’s World Knockout Stage For First Time

SportsThree African Teams Make Women’s World Knockout Stage For First Time

Despite starting off on a largely disappointing note, African teams made history at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Three of the four sides that represented the continent made it to the knockouts, the first time such is happening in the competition. 

Nigeria, South Africa, and Morocco all reached the tournament’s round of 16 while Zambia were eliminated after losing two of their first ties.

While none of the African teams won their first games in Australia and New Zealand, they did not lose their last round of matches at the competition. That was enough to earn three of them a place in the next phase of the football showpiece.

The Super Falcons were the first African team to reach the next stage of the tournament. They earned five points to finish runners-up in Group after drawing Canada and Ireland with a win over co-hosts Australia.

Coach Randy Waldrum’s girls are to square off against England’s Lionesses in their next match.

Banyana Banyana Dance Into Knockouts

Days after the Nigerian side sealed qualification for the knockouts, South Africa followed in their footsteps. The Banyana Banyana needed a late goal to see off Italy in their last Group E game to book a spot in the round of 16.

It’s even more historic for Desiree Ellis’s side being their first World Cup win.

They will now face the Netherlands, winners of Group E, on Sunday for a place in the quarter-final.

Atlas Lionesses Roar To Life

After South and Nigeria’s qualification, attention moved to debutants Morocco.

Despite a 6-0 bashing from Germany in their first match, the North Africans had enough to change the narrative.

They beat South Korea in their second match before shocking high-flying Colombia 1-0 to write their names in the country’s football folklore. Thanks to Germany’s stalemate against the Asians on Thursday, Reynald Pedros’ charges finished second on the log.

But against France, the first Arab team to feature at the Women’s World Cup will hope their fairytale in the tournament continues.

For now, they, other African teams, and the army of fans in the continent are still basking in the “explosion of joy” of reaching the next phase of the competition.

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