Women’s World Cup: Poor Start For African Representatives

South Africa and Zambia lost their opening fixtures while Nigeria thanks to the heroic saves from keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, shared spoils with Canada

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in New Zealand and Australia last Thursday. Both host Australia and New Zealand started the competition on the good footing with Australai beating Ireland one nil whil New Zealand had the upper hand on  Norway in the opening match o the tournament in an identical score.

The first surprise of the competition occured in the fixture of the first of the three teams representating Africa, Nigeria imposing a virgin draw to Olympic gold medalist Canada still on the same day. The Super Falcons earned their first point in the competition greatly thanks to the saves made by the goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.

The young goalkeeper player in the French championship, saved a penalty early in the second half. Canada’s captain Christine Sinclair missed the chance to become the first player in history to score in six World Cups.

The baptism of fire was a harsh one for the Chipolopolos of Zambia who were humbled five nil by 2011 World Champions Japan. Without their star player Grace Chanda, ruled out for the rest of the competition for illness and the injury of first choice goalkeeper Hazel Nali at the eve of their match against Japan, things were complicated for coach Bruce Mwape.

 Miyazawa started the goal festival for Japan at the 43 minute, then Tanaka (55th minute), Miyazawa again (62nd minute), Endo (71th minute) and Ueki (90+11).

The third representative, African champions South Africa equally lost to Sweden yesterday morning. The Bayana Bayana opened score thanks to offensive midfielder Magaia but Sweden’ Rolfo leveled five minutes after the hour before IIestedt crashed South Africa’s hopes of picking a point at the 90th minute. The last African team not to have played in the tournamant, Morocco, play Germany this morning.

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