The qualifiers for the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) 2024 are underway, with all eyes on the heavyweights.
Despite the recent slip of the Super Falcons of Nigeria on the continent, they are still the highest-rated team in Africa.
The Super Falcons are rated 32 on the FIFA rankings and number one in Africa, but they no longer carry the same fear factor as before.
Countries like South Africa, Cameroon, Morocco and Zambia have risen in stature and will challenge the African giants for the next WAFCON title.
The rise of Banyaa Bayana, Zambia and Morocco is fresh air for the competition and ensures that WAFCON will no longer be one-sided.
With the qualifiers hitting the road, who are the highest goal scorers of all time at WAFCON?
WAFCON all-time top scorers
Noko Alice Matlou (5)
Matlou is a veteran of South African football. She has been part of Bayana Bayana for many years and played in several WAFCON tournaments.
Matlou has played as a defender and striker for the South African female national team and won several medals for the team.
Her WAFCON cabinet includes silver in 2008, 2012 and 2018. She also won bronze in 2010 before finally landing the trophy in 2022.
She became the first South African to be named African Women's Footballer of the Year and has a WAFCON goal haul of five.
Chrestinah Thembi “Pikinini” Kgatlana (6)
Kgatlana is a striker who plays for Racing Louisville (Australia) and Banyana Banyana.
The 27-year-old striker was the top scorer in the 2018 WAFCON after scoring five goals to help South Africa finish second.
Kgatlana also scored once in the 2022 tournament as Banyana Banyana won their first-ever WAFCON tournament.
She has six goals in Africa's premier women's football competition.
Stella Mbachu (8)
Stella Mbachu is a retired Super Falcons forward. She was a main feature of the team as they dominated the continent.
Mbachu played in several WAFCON tournaments for Nigeria and scored several goals.
The former Rivers Angels striker featured for the national team 88 times and scored 20 goals, with eight coming at WAFCON.
Mbachu featured in the 1998 tournament, among the several she has played and scored one goal.
Her last goal was in 2012 in a 3-1 group-stage victory over Cameroon in the 2010 tournament.
Gloria Chinasa Okoro (9)
Chinasa Gloria was a prolific forward who scored many goals for her adopted country.
The Nigerian-born striker defected to Equatorial Guinea in 2005.
The former Rivers Angels striker accepted an offer to represent Equatorial Guinea after a club game in 2005 and became a legend for the country.
She helped Equatorial Guinea win the Africa Women's Cup of Nations in 2008 and 2012.
Veronica Phewa (10)
Not many people outside South Africa remember Veronica Phewa.
The former Arsenal forward is the South African with the most goals at WAFCON, with ten goals.
She started playing for the Banyana Bayana in 1993 at age 14 and retired from the team in 2010 before a recall in 2014.
Phewa never won the top scorer award at the tournament, but she scored the first-ever hat-trick in the tournament's history in her side's group-stage win over Zimbabwe at the 2002 edition.
Asisat Oshoala (10)
Asisat Oshoala is a known name in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. The Barcelona forward strikes fear into defenders and has made a name for herself.
Her first WAFCON goal came in the 2016 edition, where she scored six goals to finish top scorer.
Asisat has 31 goals for the Super Falcons and five African Women Footballer of the Year awards.
She has also won 3 WAFCON titles (2014, 2016, 2018).
Cynthia Uwak (10)
Cynthia Uwak has played for several clubs in Nigeria and Europe.
Among the clubs she has played for include 1. FC Saarbrücken, Vantaa and Åland United.
The almost forgotten heroine of the female national team was named African Women Footballer of The Year in 2006 and 2007.
Cynthia Uwak scored six goals in the 2006 WAFCON to finish as the second top scorer behind Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwocha.
Desire Oparanozie (11)
Oparanozie called time on her career after the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
She missed a penalty in the shootout against England that cost Nigeria a place in the quarter-final.
Despite the disappointment and struggles with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Oparanozie has a rich WAFCON record.
She was the top scorer in the tournament in 2014 with five goals. She has also won the competition four times – 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018.
Mercy Akide (11)
Mercy Akide is a legend of the African game. Her fame goes beyond the African continent, and she was one of the early pioneers of the successes of the Super Falcons.
She scored a brace in her debut for Nigeria in a World Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone in 1994 and was the first-ever African Women Footballer of the Year in 2001.
She finished top scorer in the 2000 WAFCON with seven goals.
Mercy Akide was also in the IFFHS All-time Africa Women's Dream Team in 2021.
Genoveva Añonman (14)
Equatorial Guinea was the first country to stop the Nigeria juggernaut. In 2008, they stopped the Super Falcons from winning another WAFCON title, and Genoveva Añonman was in the thick of it all.
She was the top scorer in the 2008 WAFCON with six goals.
She also scored in other tournaments to ramp up her tally.
After the 2010 African Women's Championship final, she and two other Equatorial Guinean players were accused of being male by opponents.
She had to strip naked to demonstrate her gender.
Perpetua Nkwocha (34)
There is no prolific striker like Perpetua Nkwocha at the WAFCON tournament.
Her record will be arduous for those who intend to break it.
She has the record for the most goals in a single tournament (11).
She also finished top scorer in four different tournaments – 2002 (4), 2004 (9), 2006 (7) and 2010 (11).
She has won the African Women Footballer of the Year award four times, plus five WAFCON titles (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014).
WAFCON All-time top scorers list
|2||Genoveva Añonman||Equatorial Guinea||14|
|7||Veronica Phewa||South Africa||10|
|8||Gloria Chinasa Okoro||Equatorial Guinea||9|
|10||Thembi Kgatlana||South Africa||6|
|11||Noko Matlou||South Africa||5|
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago