South Africa, Botswana join Zambia at Women’s Africa Cup of Nations

South Africa and Botswana booked their place at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco on Wednesday to seal a trio of COSAFA sides into the continental showpiece event.

They will join COSAFA rivals Zambia in the finals after the Copper Queens sealed their place on Tuesday following a draw with Namibia.

While South Africa will play a 12th finals tournament, Botswana will make their bow after they saw off a spirited comeback from Zimbabwe to win their tie on the away goals rule.

Botswana had won the first leg in Harare 3-1, but found themselves trailing after goals from Emmaculate Msipa and Priviledge Mupeti levelled the score on aggregate.

However the Mighty Warriors could not get the third goal they needed and The Mares sealed a historic trip to Morocco.
South Africa but booked their following a 1-1 draw with Algeria in the second leg of their qualifier in Algiers.

Banyana Banyana advance 3-1 on aggregate as Linda Motlhalo netted a penalty in the second half to equalise, her fifth goal of the qualifiers and her 16th in international football.

Banyana won the spot-kick on 62 minutes as determined work from the pacey Thembi Kgatlana saw her cross deliberately handled by Algeria midfielder Sofia Guellati.

It was a needless moment from the home player and a clear penalty, as Motlhalo netted with a low drive into the bottom corner.

Algeria took the lead seconds before the break as the industrious Naima Bouhani showed great determination to see off the attention of two defenders at the byline and cross for Sylia Koui to loop a header over goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.

It also maintains Banyana’s record of having qualified for every Cup of Nations finals since they entered international football and competed for the first time in 1995.

South Africa became the last nation to book their place at the 12-team competition after hosts Morocco, debutants Burundi, Togo, Burkina Faso and Botswana, powerhouses Nigeria, Cameroon and Senegal, and Uganda, Zambia and Tunisia.

The leading four teams at the 2022 Cup of Nations will advance automatically to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, with another two to enter the continental play-offs.

Ten teams will vie for the remaining three places in that competition.