Senegal beat Uganda 2-0 in Rabat in the second game of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) on Sunday to leapfrog hosts Morocco at the top of Group A on goal difference.
In Group B, Cameroon drew 0-0 with Zambia and Tunisia trounced Togo 4-1 in Casablanca.
After 37 cagey minutes in the first game of the day at Rabat’s Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Senegal won a crucial penalty as Hapsatou Malado Diallo was caught in the box by Aisha Nantongo. Ndeye Diakhaté stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
In the 42nd minute, Fauzia Najjemba got in behind the Senegal defence, but was unsuccessful in her effort to slide the ball under Senegal goalkeeper Tening Sène Afa, whose experience showed as she made a great save.
Uganda came out of the blocks flying in the second half, with Phiona Nabbumba rattling the crossbar four minutes after the restart.
However, the Crested Cranes left themselves exposed at the back and Nguenar Ndiaye got in behind moments later, rounding goalkeeper Ruth Aturo and stroking home. The goal was initially ruled out for offside, but then reinstated after a VAR check.
Uganda continued to find joy in behind the Senegalese defence themselves, but Sène Afa was impenetrable and the Lionesses of Teranga held on.
Cameroon draw with Zambia
The day’s second encounter saw Zambia frustrate Cameroon at the Stade Mohammed V, holding them to a 0-0 draw.
Zambia were struck by star striker Barbra Banda being ruled out amid mysterious circumstances, but the Copper Queens were solid at the other end, improving significantly on their defensive performances at the Tokyo Olympics.
Cameroon had a case for a penalty against Lushomo Mweemba for handball 52 minutes in, but after a VAR check, the decision went the other way as the Indomitable Lionesses were blown up for a foul.
In the 64th minute, Ajara Nchout Njoya flicked Estelle Johnson’s long ball across to Flora Kameni in the box. Goalkeeper Hazel Nali read the situation superbly and blocked her effort, with the ball subsequently ricocheting off the Cameroon substitute and behind for a goal-kick.
Kameni had another chance in stoppage time at the end of the match as she got on the end of an aerial ball and tried to lob it into the net only to see Mweemba scramble back to clear off the line.
Before the final whistle, Nchout Njoya saw a goal disallowed for offside. Ultimately, Bruce Mwape’s Zambia could not be breached.
Tunisia trounce Togo
If the first two matches got off to tense starts, the third was the polar opposite. Mariem Houij met the ball on the half-volley and lobbed Togo goalkeeper Amé Amouklou from around 20 yards out to put Tunisia in front after 17 seconds.
The lead was doubled as the clock struck 12 minutes. Amouklou was at fault again as she failed to hold onto a free-kick delivery whipped in straight at her. Sabrine Ellouzzi was on hand to meet the loose ball and slot home.
In the 22nd minute, Odette Gnintegma pulled a goal back from the penalty spot, scoring Togo’s first AWCON goal ever.
Togo pressed for an equaliser, but did not take their chances at the end of the first half and were punished when Ella Djankalé was sent off for fouling Houij when she was the last defender. Seconds before the hour mark, Ellouzi met a Sabrine Mamay free-kick with her head and steered home to restore the two-goal margin.
Houij continued to win her personal battle against Amouklou as the Togo goalkeeper spilled her shot beyond the line after she was played in by Imen Troudi. Tunisia led 4-1 in the 71st minute and went on to see out the remainder of the match with this scoreline.
And Today, the Super Falcons of Nigeria faces Bayana Bayana of South Africa, Time: 6PM.