Kenya’s Harambee Starlets and Nigeria’s Super Falcons were among four teams that confirmed their participation in the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations which will be held in Cameroon between November 19 and December 3 2016.
Starlets overcame Algeria Fennecs on away goals after their two-legged clash tied 3-3 aggregate, the first leg in Algiers ending 2-2 and the Nairobi return leg 1-1.
It is the first time the David Ouma-led side will participate in the biennial tournament. Record champions and title holders Nigeria also advanced for the 12th time in a row after beating Senegal 2-0 in the second leg of their qualifier for a 3-1 win on aggregate.
Rita Chikwelu gave the Super Falcons a 36th minute lead after Arsenal player Asisat Oshoala hit the post from the penalty spot. Osaremona Igbinovia doubled the lead immediately after the break and with Senegal having their coach sent off in the 50th minute, Nigeria easily saw off the rest of the match to ensure they will defend their title.
Equatorial Guinea, the only other team to win the women’s continental title, will also be at the finals in November pending an investigation by the Confederation of African Football.
Rio Olympics-bound South Africa and Zimbabwe also advanced, Banyana Banyana beating neighbours Botswana 3-0 on Tuesday for a 5-0 aggregate win while Zimbabwe overcame Zambia 1-0 and 3-2 for a 4-2 success.
Ghana collected a convincing 4-0 second leg win over visiting Tunisia to make it 6-1 overall while Egypt booked their place on away goals despite losing the second leg 2-1 to Ivory Coast. The North Africans had won their home leg 1-0.
The seven teams join Cameroon as hosts in the eight-team finals. The eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four with the top two teams of each group advancing to the semi-finals. Kenya is the only team making their first appearance in the competition with Egypt featuring for the second time and Zimbabwe for the fourth time. Equatorial Guinea make their 5th appearance with Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa on 11 and Nigeria 12.
The competition, which has been won NINE times by Nigeria and twice by Equatorial Guinea since its inception in 1991, has served as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
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