Teclaire Bille Esono, a starting defender on the Equatorial Guinea Women’s National Team, died Tuesday night in a car accident in Cameroon. Esono was among three people who were killed in the crash. One of them was her brother. (more…)
Nigeria wins African Women’s Championship, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia move to second stage at CONMEBOL
If it weren’t for two own goals late in the game, Equatorial Guinea may be calling themselves the winners of the 2010 African Women’s Championship. Instead, Nigeria came away as champions with a 5-2 win. In today’s final at Sinaba Stadium in South Africa, Nigeria went up 1-0 with a goal by Perpetua Nkwocha in the seven the minute. It was her 11th goal of the tournament. She scored in all of Nigeria’s five games. The game remained 1-0 until the 66th minute with Equatorial Guinea’s Carolina Parreira scored the equalizer. Ugochi Oparanozie then put Nigeria up 2-1 with her goal in the 77th minute. But in the 81st minute, an own goal by Equatorial Guinea gave Nigeria a 3-1 lead. That lead fell to 3-2 one minute later when Jada Sayo scored for Equatorial Guinea. And one minute after that, another own goal sunk Equatorial Guinea for good. Regardless of the outcome, both Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria are heading to the 2011 World Cup. In the third-place match today, South Africa beat Cameroon, 2-0, on goals by Nocawe Skiti and Amanda Dlamini.
Saturday in Ecuador, wins by Brazil and Colombia sent the two nations to the second stage of the CONMEBOL qualifiers. Cristiane scored twice and Marta scored once in a 3-0 win over Paraguay, while Colombia blanked Uruguay, 8-0. Colombia comes into the second stage, which begins Nov. 17, with the most goals scored (17) in the group stage. Brazil scored 13 in its four games and allowed the fewest (1). Ecuador almost shocked the world Friday. The host nation beat Argentina, 1-0, but unfortunately needed to win by more than three goals against the Argentinians to keep them out of the World Cup for the first time since 1999. Ingrid Rodriguez scored the game’s only goal. In the other Group A match Friday, Bolivia beat Peru, 2-1, backed by a pair of goals from Palmira Loayza.
The top two teams that come out of the second stage advance to the World Cup. The matches on Nov. 17 are Chile vs. Colombia and Brazil vs. Argentina. The remainder of the schedule is: Chile vs. Argentina and Brazil vs. Colombia (both on Nov. 19) and Colombia vs. Argentina and Brazil vs. Chile (both on Nov. 21).
Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria qualify for World Cup, and in Ecuador stage is set for pivotal Brazil vs. Colombia match
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea became the 12th and 13th teams to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup after winning in today’s African Women’s Championship semifinals.
Equatorial Guinea beat South Africa in overtime after both teams played a scoreless 90 minutes in their semifinal match today. Salimata Simpore took advantage of a failed clearance by South Africa in the 112th minute to put Equatorial Guinea ahead, 1-0. Equatorial Guinea then went up 2-0 after an own goal by South Africa. Then, in the 125th minute, Simpore scored her second goal of the game and third of the tournament before South Africa’s Dlamin Amanda scored in the 118th minute.
Earlier today, Nigeria beat Cameroon, 5-1, in the other semifinal game. The Super Falcons have never not qualified for the World Cup. Perpetua Nkwocha scored three goals for Nigeria and now leads the 2010 AWC with 10 goals in four games. Ugochi Oparano scored Nigeria’s other two goals, and Grace Ngock scored for Cameroon. Nigeria faces Equatorial Guinea Sunday in the AWC championship, which Equatorial Guinea won in 2008 (a non-World Cup year).
Tonight, in Ecuador, the biggest match of the CONMEBOL qualifiers takes place at the 22,000-capacity Estadio Alejandro Serrano Aguilar as Brazil takes on Cameroon, two teams currently unbeaten in Group B. This match has huge implications for Colombia. A win sends the team to the second stage and it eliminates Uruguay from the group stage. Venezuela, which is already eliminated, plays Uruguay prior to Colombia vs. Brazil. Paraguay, the other team in Group B, plays Brazil Nov. 13 and basically needs a miracle to qualify for the second stage.
In Group A action last night, Chile became the first of four teams to reach the second stage after its 3-1 win over Peru. Karen Araya scored twice and Yanara Aedo scored once for Chile. Lyana Chirinos scored for Peru. Joshelyn Sanchez scored twice for Ecuador in its 4-3 win over Bolivia. The final spot in the second stage for a Group A team is up for grabs. Either Argentina or Ecuador will advance. Ecuador must beat Argentina Friday night by at least three goals to move on.
With 13 teams now qualified for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, seven teams are fighting for the remaining three spots. Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, and the U.S. still have a shot at reaching Germany. Out of the five teams from South America, only two can qualify, while Italy and the U.S. are playing Nov. 20 and 27 in the UEFA/CONCACAF playoff with the winner grabbing the 16th and final spot in the World Cup.
World Cup qualifiers update: African Women’s Championship semifinals, Brazil loses player to ACL tear, and U.S. prepares for playoff with Italy
The semifinals for the African Women’s Championship are set for Thursday in South Africa. Nigeria takes on Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea plays South Africa. Ghana, which has played in the last three World Cups, did not advance after losing, 3-1, Monday to Equatorial Guinea. South Africa, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea have never qualified for the World Cup, and Nigeria has never not qualified.The winners of Thursday’s semifinals qualify for the World Cup and advance to the AWC finals on Monday, Nov. 14, at Sinaba Stadium.
At the CONMEBOL qualifiers in Ecuador, favorites Brazil and Argentina are unbeaten. Brazil has qualified for every World Cup, Argentina the last two. But Chile, Paraguay, and Colombia look to be legitimate contenders. All five teams are unbeaten heading into Wednesday. That’s when Peru plays Chile and Bolivia faces Ecuador in Group A action. Both Peru and Bolivia must win Wednesday to avoid elimination. Chile can advance to the knockout round if its result is better than Ecuador’s result against Bolivia. Argentina and Chile are in first and second place, respectively, in Group A. Argentina is 3-0, while Chile is 2-0-1. Even though it is not playing, Argentina can advance to the knockout stage Wednesday if Peru beats Chile and Bolivia beats Ecuador. In Group B, Venezuela was eliminated Tuesday after losing, 5-0, to Colombia. Yoreli Rincon, who scored the “Goal of the Tournament” at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany this past summer, scored one of Colombia’s five goals. Rincon and Brazil’s Marta are second in Group B with two goals scored, one back of Christiane, who has scored three goals for Brazil. The Brazilians, the runners-up at the 2007 Women’s World Cup, are 2-0 after wins over Venezuela and Uruguay.
Leah Fortune (Our Game Magazine, July 2010) got her first cap with the Brazilian Women’s National Team but was taken away by ambulance after suffering a knee injury in the match against Uruguay. An MRI later confirmed a complete tear of her ACL and partial meniscus tear in her left knee. On her blog, Fortune said she will remain with the team in Ecuador throughout the qualifiers and then return to the U.S. for surgery on her knee.
Canada capped off its phenomenal run in the CONCACAF qualifiers by beating Mexico, 1-0, Monday. The Canadians outscored their opponents, 17-0, winning their second Gold Cup and first since 1998, when coincidentally they beat Mexico, 1-0. Christine Sinclair scored a PK for Canada in Monday’s win. The U.S., meanwhile, beat Costa Rica, 3-0, to advance to the CONCACAF/UEFA playoff against Italy. Abby Wambach scored two goals and Lauren Cheney scored one for a U.S. team that is headed to Stadio Euganeo in Padua, Italy on Nov. 20. The return leg is Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. That playoff will determine the 16th and final spot in the 2011 World Cup. On Nov. 29, FIFA will hold the draw for the World Cup. U.S. coach Pia Sundhage called up Leslie Osborne to play in the playoff against Italy. Osborne, who plays for the Boston Breakers of the WPS, broke her collarbone against Sky Blue FC back on Aug. 15. She recently was cleared to play, and this will be her first time back with the USWNT since 2008.
The following teams have already qualified for the 2011 Women’s World Cup: Germany (host nation), Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, England, Norway, France, Japan, North Korea, and Australia.