1 March 2014

Zambia/Cote d'Ivoire: Cote d'Ivoire, Zambia Reach Final Lap

Cote d'Ivoire and Zambia are two games away from qualification for the 2014 African Women's Championship scheduled for Namibia in October.

The duo sealed their places after coming out unscathed in the second leg matches of the first round of the qualifiers. The Ivorians beat Mali 1-0 to complete a double over the latter whilst Zambia snatched a one-all draw against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam.

'Les Elephantes', 4-0 winners in the first leg proved a mouthful for their Malian hosts in the encounter on Friday at the Modibo Keita Stadium in Bamako.

Ines Tia scored the only goal of the match on 60 minutes to send her side through to the final round 5-0 on aggregate. The West Africans are due to face reigning African champions, Equatorial Guinea at the next round.

Head coach of the Ivorians, Clementine Toure in a post-match interview said: "This is a well-deserved victory. My players were tactically superior and they put in so much effort to achieve the reward. However, we have to review our performance ahead of the next game."

On his part, Abdramane Moussa Traore, head coach of the Malians observed "there is not much to say. We dominated possession but it was the opponent who scored. My regret is not scoring a goal."

In Dar es Salaam, a late equalizer from Susan Banda proved vital for the Shepopolo to oust the Twiga Stars. The Tanzanians shot up into the lead on 39 minutes through Aisha Rashid but their hopes went dead eight minutes from time when Banda's thunderbolt from a free-kick found its way into the net.

Zambia will face the winner of Zimbabwe-Botswana at the final round of the qualification series for the ninth edition of the flagship women's football championship on the continent.

Seven teams will emerge from the qualifiers to join hosts Namibia for the final tournament from 11-24 October, also a qualifier for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada next year.

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