Thursday Aug 29, 2019. 12:00
The first matches of the 2020 CAF Women’s Olympic qualification second round were played on Monday and Wednesday.
Five first-leg games were played, while DR Congo won on a walkover after Equatorial Guinea withdrew from the qualifiers.
Ethiopia fought back to hold a much-fancied Cameroon side to a 1-1 draw in a game which took place at the Bahir Dar Stadium in Bahir Dar on Monday.
Current African champions Nigeria secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Algeria in a match which was played at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida on Wednesday.
While West African giants Ghana proved too strong for Gabon as they recorded a 3-0 victory in a game which took place at the Stade Augustin Monédan in Libreville.
Zambia recorded an impressive 5-0 victory over their neighbours Zimbabwe in a game which was played at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
Lastly, Malawi edged out Kenya 3-2 in a five-goal thriller in an encounter which was played at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
– Michaela Abam played an instrumental role in helping Cameroon avoid a defeat by scoring an away goal.
– Portia Boakye, who is regarded as one of the best left-footed players on the Africa continent, inspired Ghana to a win over Gabon with a well-taken goal.
– Grace Chanda was unstoppable as she hit the back of the net three times for Zambia as they thumped Zimbabwe.
– Tabitha Chawanga was the hero for Malawi as she hit the back of the net twice and her goals inspired She-Flames to a hard-fought victory.
Zambia head coach Bruce Mwape feels their win has reduced the pressure on the team ahead of the second-leg clash in Zimbabwe next month.
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“Winning 5-0 is Something good especially that we have won Zimbabwe for the first time because last year we lost here but managed to beat them in Zimbabwe, but the 5-0 today will lessen the pressure when we get to Zimbabwe for our second leg,” he said.
Meanwhile, South Africa head coach Desiree Ellis has stressed the importance of allowing the players to acclimatize after Banyana Banyana arrived in Botswana ahead of their second-round first-leg clash on Friday.
“We have to maximize all the time we have as we have only been in camp for two days now, and we needed to allow the players as much time to acclimatize as possible because it is extremely hot in Gaborone, especially for this time of the year,” she said.