October 25 – Defending champions Nigeria were paired with South Africa, Zambia and Kenya in Group B as the eight participants in the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations learned their fate at the draw in Accra.
Ghana, the hosts, were seeded as well and will face Algeria, Mali and Cameroon in Group A. The Ghanians will kick off the competition against Algeria at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday November 17, with the final set for December 1. The Black Queens have never won the tournament, but were losing finalists in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Nigeria have triumphed in the biennial tournament eight times. They will be the favourites once more to win the continental title with Cameroon expected to challenge. In their opening game the Super Falcons will face South Africa on November 18 in Cape Coast, the tournament’s second host city. Cape Coast boasts a 15,000-capacity stadium. In the capital the Accra Sports Stadium seats 40,000.
Kenya, who were drawn in Nigeria’s group, were last-minutes entrants in the competition as they replace Equatorial Guinea who were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
The top two teams from both groups will progress to the last four. This tournament will also produce Africa’s representatives at next year’s Women’s World Cup in France. The top three teams will secure their births at the showpiece event in 2019.
Contact the writer of this story Samindra Kunti at moc.l1566812888labto1566812888ofdlr1566812888owedi1566812888sni@o1566812888fni1566812888