Paris 2024 dreams alive as African teams vie for Olympic football qualification


The journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics heated up with the first leg matches of the third round in the CAF zone qualifiers for women’s football concluding with some thrilling encounters on Friday, 23 February. With only two spots available for African teams in the Olympics, the competition is fierce among the remaining eight nations.

Morocco took a significant step towards qualification with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Tunisia. The match, characterized by its intensity, saw Morocco’s Ghizlaine Chebbak and Fatima Tagnaout scoring crucial goals. Tunisia’s Alaa Kaabachi provided a glimmer of hope with a crucial goal, setting the stage for an intriguing return leg.

Meanwhile, in Abuja, Nigeria and Cameroon battled to a stalemate in a 0-0 draw. The tactical encounter between these two football powerhouses left all to play for in the second leg, with both teams showing defensive resilience.

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana showcased their dominance with a convincing 3-0 win over Tanzania. Goals from Jermaine Seopesenwe, Thembi Kgatlana, and Hildah Magaia, all of whom play in Mexico, highlighted their team’s offensive prowess and set a high bar for the return match.

In an emotionally charged match in Accra, Zambia’s Copper Queens secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Ghana. This win was particularly poignant following the tragic loss of their teammate Norin Betani, displaying remarkable strength and unity from the Zambian team.

As the second leg of the qualifiers looms, the stage is set for an enthralling conclusion to the CAF zone’s Olympic qualification process. The return matches in Abuja, Ndola, Nelspruit, and Rabat are poised to be decisive in determining which two teams will represent Africa in Paris 2024.

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