What you need to know:
- Everything Zambia did or do after that quarterfinals win over Senegal will be treated as a bonus.
When Nigeria failed to win the 2008 and 2012 Women Africa Cup of Nation (Wafcon) titles, they finished third and fourth respectively in encounters against Cameroon.
That is just how far their blemish at this continental showpiece goes.
Tonight at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca in Morocco, the Super Falcons put another stain – by their standards – on their 14-edition history in the competition hoping to overcome Zambia in the third place playoffs.
Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, 21, (pictured) described their 5-4 penalty loss to Morocco as “the worst match” she has played in her life and they will be looking for a consolatory exit.
However, coach Randy Waldrum must make two changes after his forward Rasheedat Ajibade and midfielder Halimatu Ayinde were sent off in the semis.
Waldrum has come under fire from Nigerians for not giving talented striker Gift Monday playing time – even in the face of Asisat Oshoala’s injury – and his hand could be forced tonight.
Zambia make strides
Meanwhile, Zambia are under no pressure and their coach Bruce Mwape has tried to deflect any kind of tension by insisting even before their 1-0 semifinals loss to South Africa that his side hit the targets of this tournament by qualifying for the World Cup.
Everything Zambia did or do after that quarterfinals win over Senegal will be treated as a bonus.
This is only Zambia’s fourth time at Wafcon after 1995 (quarterfinal finish), 2014 and 2018 (group stage finishes). But more importantly, their current generation of players is being credited by backing their return to Wafcon in 2018 with participation at the Olympics last year and now a guaranteed World Cup debut next year.
WOMEN AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS
TODAY – 3RD PLACE PLAYOFF
Nigeria vs. Zambia, 11pm