The national women’s football team is due to face, on Monday at the Prince Moulay Abdellah sports complex in Rabat, its Nigerian counterpart for the title of the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations (Morocco-2022), with the aim of a historic qualification for the final.
The Atlas Lionesses had qualified for the last four at the expense of Botswana (2-1), thereby composing their ticket for the 2023 World Cup, which will be co-organized by Australia and New Zealand for the first time in the history of Moroccan women’s football.
Nigeria had qualified for the semi-finals at the expense of Cameroon (1-0).
The Moroccan players are aware of the capital importance of this semi-final, especially since they will be dealing with an adversary experienced in this type of match since Nigeria has 11 African Cups to its name out of the 13 editions. of this trophy. Nigeria is also the only African nation to have taken part in all editions of the Women’s World Cup.
Even if the Nigerians will play this meeting with the favors of the forecasts, the players of the national team keep intact their chance to create the feat and continue the adventure during this competition, especially since they will approach this half- final with less pressure after having already ensured the essential, namely to qualify for the World Cup.
The protégés of the French technician, Reynald Pedros, will also bet on their capital of confidence, in the sense that they have imposed themselves in their four previous meetings and will wish to continue on the same path in order to reach the final and be able to dream of the final coronation. .
Before reaching the last four, the Atlas Lionesses had beaten Burkina Faso (1-0), Uganda (3-1) and Senegal (1-0) during the group stage.
In order to boost them and encourage them to shine against Nigeria, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), Fouzi Lekjaa visited the national team at the Mohammed VI football complex in Maâmora.
The qualification for the World Cup “is only a step, the main objective remains the consecration and this passes by the victory against Nigeria in the semi-finals”, he said to the address of the Lionesses, affirming that “all Moroccans are extremely proud of this feat, the first of its kind ever achieved by Moroccan female footballers”.
In the same register, the captain of the national team Ghizlane Chebbak said she was “very happy for this qualification”, adding that “the efforts made have been rewarded”.
“Today we have qualified for the World Cup, but there is still a long way to go before we reach the final… I feel a lot of happiness because it is the fruit of many years and we have been able to achieve the dream of many people,” she said.
To express this wish: “I hope that thanks to us women’s football will take a leap forward. I can’t describe my happiness in a few words but I think it shows. We haven’t finished yet, there is still the semi-final and we would like to reach the final and have the cup”.
For his part, the coach of Nigeria, Randy Waldrum, felt that Morocco has a good team and that its players are focused on the match against the National Eleven.
The Moroccan selection has talented players who know how to exploit set plays, he said, considering that the Moroccan selection is one of the best teams at this CAN.
“They will play at home and in front of their supporters. But we made the trip to Morocco to reach the final and win the trophy,” he concluded.