The first two, of four quarter final games saw winners of both clashes, not only progress to the semi finals of the competition slated for next Monday, but also qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Here is a quick round-up of Wednesday’s quarterfinal games.
Zambia 1-1 Senegal (Zambia win 4-2 on penalties)
Zambia’s Copper Queens created history on Wednesday night by defeating Senegal in penalty shootouts at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, to qualify for their first World Cup and their first WAFCON semifinal.
After a fiercely contested 120 minutes of football, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Zambia prevailed 4-2 in the shootouts.
Nguenar Ndiaye broke the tie shortly after the hour mark when she received the ball inside the box unmarked, to tuck in the opener for the Teranga Lionesses.
Zambia then got the equalizer in the 70th minute as Avell Chitundu scored from close-range to put the game at par.
Neither team succeeded in finding the back of the net again, both in regulation and extra time, forcing a shootout.
Zambia ended up winning the tiebreak, scoring four of their five spot kicks: as compared to Senegal’s converted two, with goalkeeper Hazel Natasha Nali scoring the crucial. In addition to advancing to the WAFCON semifinals for the first time, Zambia earned also a spot in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Morocco 2-1 Botswana
Hosts Morocco took a giant leap into the WAFCON semifinals – for the first time – by defeating daring debutants Botswana 2-1, at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Morocco got the game underway as early as the 3rd minute after Sanaa Mssoudy stretched onto a free kick, beating Sedilame Boseja in Botswana’s goal.
The Lionesses’ lead did not last, however, as Keitumetse Dithebe swivelled a freekick in the 7th minute, into the top right corner of Morocco’s goal.
Morocco came close a couple more times, with some attempts even hitting the crossbar, but were unable to break the tie.
They finally did the just a minute before the hour mark as Yasmin Mrabet, synonymous with their opener, connected onto another freekick, heading it past Botswana’s keeper Boseja.
The hosts will go on, to be declared victors at full-time, sending the stadium into massive eruptions. Like Zambia, Morocco not only makes the WAFCON semifinals for the first time but also qualifies for its first FIFA Women’s World Cup.