The Four African Powerhouses at the Women’s World Cup 2023

The Four African Powerhouses at the Women’s World Cup 2023
Credit: Iconsport

Dive into a comprehensive analysis of the African teams at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, highlighting their FIFA rankings, previous tournament performances, and prospects for the upcoming competition.

As the anticipation for the Women's World Cup 2023 reaches a crescendo, Africa proudly showcases its footballing prowess with the presence of four formidable teams on the grand stage. Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, and Zambia stand shoulder to shoulder, representing the hopes and dreams of an entire continent.

From the record-breaking Super Falcons of Nigeria to the historic debutants Morocco and Zambia, and the determined Banyana Banyana of South Africa, these four nations embody the spirit of African football and are poised to make their mark on the global stage.

Analysis of Africa's Representatives at the Women's World Cup 2023

Statbox on Super Falcons at the Women's World Cup 2023:

  • FIFA ranking: 40
  • Nickname: Super Falcons
  • Coach: Randy Waldrum

How Nigeria qualified for the Women's World Cup 2023:

Nigeria's qualification for the Women's World Cup 2023 came through their performance in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations. The team finished fourth in the tournament, losing to Morocco on penalties in the semi-finals and suffering a 1-0 defeat against Zambia in the third-place playoff match. The top four teams from the Women's Africa Cup of Nations secured their spots in the World Cup.

Previous participations:

Nigeria have a rich history of participation in the Women's World Cup. They have taken part in every edition of the tournament since its inception. Their most notable achievement came in 1999, when they reached the quarterfinals, securing a seventh-place finish, which remains their best-ever result in the competition.

The Super Falcons have also had tremendous success in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, winning the tournament a record 11 times. This success showcases Nigeria's dominance in women's football in Africa and highlights their status as a formidable force on the continent.

Prospects:

Nigeria face a challenging task in Group B, where they are the lowest-ranked side. The group consists of hosts Australia, Olympic champions Canada, and Ireland. With strong opponents in the group, the Super Falcons are expected to face significant challenges in their World Cup campaign.

Despite the tough competition, Nigeria's experience in international tournaments and their rich footballing heritage will be valuable assets. Under the guidance of coach Randy Waldrum, who brings his expertise and strategic acumen to the team, the Super Falcons will aim to defy the odds and make their mark on the tournament.

Statbox on Morocco at the Women's World Cup 2023:

Nickname: Lionesses of Atlas
Coach: Reynald Pedros
FIFA ranking: 72

How Morocco qualified for the Women’s World Cup:

Morocco secured their place in the Women's World Cup 2023 as one of the four semi-finalists in the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations, which served as Africa's qualification event for the tournament.

In their journey to the semi-finals, Morocco defeated Botswana and Nigeria in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively. However, they lost to South Africa 2-1 in the final.

Previous participations:

Morocco will be making their debut appearance at the Women's World Cup in 2023. They have never participated in the tournament before, making this an exciting milestone for Moroccan women's football.

Prospects:

Morocco find themselves in Group H alongside Colombia, South Korea, and two-time champion Germany. As the lowest-ranked team in their group and the second-lowest-ranked team in the entire tournament (behind Zambia), Morocco face a challenging task in this prestigious competition.

With their status as debutants, Morocco's best chance of securing points lie in their matches against the least experienced team in the group, Colombia.

Colombia have previously participated in the World Cup once, making them a potential target for Morocco to aim for victory.

Their encounter with Colombia in the third game of the group stage could be a crucial opportunity for Morocco to make an impact and potentially earn their first points in the tournament.

Given the tough competition they face in Group H, Morocco's primary objective will likely be to gain valuable experience on the world stage and demonstrate the progress of women's football in their country.

The tournament will serve as a platform for the Lionesses of Atlas to showcase their talents and continue to develop the women's game in Morocco.

Morocco's participation in the Women's World Cup is not only driven by their ambition to succeed but also by the achievements of the country's male national team.

The Moroccan men's team made history at the FIFA World Cup 2022 by becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals. This accomplishment has undoubtedly motivated and inspired the Lionesses of Atlas to make their mark in the women's edition of the tournament.

Statbox on South Africa at the Women's World Cup 2023:

  • Nickname: Banyana Banyana
  • Coach: Desiree Ellis
  • FIFA Ranking: 54

How South Africa qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup

South Africa secured their place in the Women's World Cup 2023 by winning the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations. In the final, they faced hosts Morocco and emerged victorious with a 2-1 scoreline.

Previous participations:

South Africa have participated in the Women's World Cup once before, in the 2019 edition held in France. However, they faced a challenging campaign, failing to register a win in the group stage. Despite their efforts, they were unable to advance to the knockout stage after losing all their matches, against Spain, China, and Germany.

Prospects:

South Africa find themselves in Group G, alongside Sweden, Italy, and Argentina. This group presents a challenging task for Banyana Banyana, as they are drawn against strong opponents with varying levels of international experience.

Sweden, a consistently strong team in women's football, have a history of advancing past the group stage. South Africa's focus will likely be on securing positive results against Italy and Argentina to improve their chances of reaching the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in their history.

For South Africa to progress from the group, they will need to capitalise on their opportunities and perform at their best against their group-stage opponents. The coaching prowess of Desiree Ellis, combined with the talent and determination of the Banyana Banyana players, will play a crucial role in their quest for advancement.

Statbox on Zambia at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023:

  • Nickname: Copper Queens
  • Coach: Bruce Mwape
  • FIFA Ranking: 77

How Zambia qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Zambia secured their spot in the Women's World Cup 2023 by finishing in third place at the 2022 WAFCON. In the semi-finals, they lost to South Africa 1-0. However, they bounced back in the third-place playoff match, defeating Nigeria 1-0 to secure their qualification.

Previous participations:

Zambia will be making their debut appearance at the Women's World Cup in 2023. This historic qualification is a testament to the progress and development of women's football in the country. The Copper Queens will be eager to make a strong impression and compete against some of the world's best teams on the global stage.

Prospects:

Zambia's journey to the Women's World Cup was remarkable, defying expectations and enjoying a standout performance at the 2022 AFCON. However, they face a significant challenge in Group C, which includes strong opponents such as Spain, Japan, and Costa Rica.

Being the lowest-ranked team in the tournament (77th), Zambia's prospects for advancing beyond the group stage appear challenging. The team's lack of experience against top-tier opponents could pose a significant hurdle.

Nonetheless, the Copper Queens' presence in the Women's World Cup is an opportunity for the team to gain invaluable experience and exposure. The tournament provides a platform for the development and growth of women's football in Zambia. It offers the players an opportunity to test themselves against some of the best teams in the world, which will undoubtedly contribute to the overall progress of the sport in the country.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.