8 June 2014

Africa: Ivorians Edge Holders Equatorial Guinea - Nigeria Through

Holders Equatorial Guinea will play no part at the TN Mobile 9th African Women's Championship Namibia 2014 after Cote d'Ivoire eliminated them on the away goal rule after a 2-2 draw on Saturday in Malabo.

On the back of a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Abidjan a fortnight ago, 'Les Eléphantes Dames' edged the Nzalang Femenino on away goals after a 3-3 tie.

It is the first time a defending champion has failed to qualify for the final tournament in the history of the biennial championships since its inception in 1998.

The Equatoguineans will be missing out for the first time since 2008, and their absence this time was masterminded by a familiar face, Ivorian trainer Clementine Toure, who incidentally was a member of the Nzalang Femenino technical bench when they were crowned the queens of African football for the first time six years ago on home soil.

For the Ivorians, the feat marks the second time they have reached the finals of the eight-nation tournament after their maiden appearance at the last edition two years ago in Equatorial Guinea.

Elsewhere in Kaduna, the Super Falcons of Nigeria achieved their objective of qualifying for every single edition of the African Women's Championship courtesy an 8-0 thumping of Rwanda. The six-time winners went through 12-1 on aggregate.

The Nigerians led 5-0 at half time thanks to a brace from burly striker Desire Oparanozie and a goal each from Blessing Edoho, Azizat Oshoala and Esther Sunday.

In the second half, Oparanozie sealed her hat-trick on 51 minutes, before strikes from Oshoala and Cecilia Nku summed victory for Edwin Okon's ladies.

The other four teams from the qualifiers places will be decided on Sunday.

The final tournament will be held from 11-24 October and also serves the continental qualifier for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada next year.

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