Race for the two African spots at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 takes a definite shape this weekend where the four remaining teams will take part in the first legs of two matches.
On Saturday January 13, South Africa host Nigeria at the Polokwane Stadium from 15:00, with Ghana facing hosts Cameroon a day later in the second first leg fixture. The return matches will then take place on 26 January, with the winners securing their place in this year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup.
To reach this stage, Nigeria beat Tanzania (9-0 on aggregate) and then Morocco (6-2 on aggregate) while South Africa recorded 9-0 and 5-2 aggregate wins over Namibia and Burundi respectively. On their part, Ghana humiliated Algeria 10-0 (on aggregate) before downing Kenya (10-1 on aggregate). Their opponents Cameroon however qualified without playing after Guinea and Sierra Leone withdrew from the competition.
Aside from Nigeria and Ghana, Congo DR are the only other African team ever to have graced the U-20 Women’s World Cup, a feat they achieved in 2006 and 2008. The Congolese did not enter this qualifying competition, however. The Indomitable Lionesses and Banyana Banyana are therefore 180 minutes away from joining that very select club.