Three places for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup are up for grabs between the four remaining teams at the TN Mobile 9th African Women Championships Namibia 2014.
Six-time winners, Nigeria will face old foes South Africa in the first match of the semi-finals on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek whilst Cameroon battles Cote d’Ivoire in the other semi clash later at the same venue.
The winners of today’s semis will automatically seal their places for next year’s women’s version of the Mundial whilst the final slot will be decided in the third-place match between the losers.
Ahead of the matches, Cafonline.com has been speaking to some key actors in the two much awaited games;
Edwin Okon Edem (Coach, Nigeria)
“My team is doing well. We have no problem right now. I still count on players like Perpetua Nkwocha who is still a key member of the team despite her age. She is always efficient.
“We take this semi-final as each of our previous matches with the same desire to win. But we must remain vigilant. South Africa is one of the strongest women’s team and this will be their seventh appearance at the semis. Qualification to the World Cup is key just as winning the title.”
Perpetua Nkwocha (Nigeria striker)
“We are fully prepared. The first three games we won, has helped the team improve to perfect automation. Obviously, it will be strong test against the South Africans. We have to keep the spirit that has guided the group since the beginning of the competition.
Vera Pauw, (Coach, South Africa)
“It is a pleasure for us to play Nigeria at the semifinals. They are a worthy opponent. Our preparations started just after our match against Algeria and the players were immediately put to work. We have watched a lot of games of our opponent to know how to approach the match. It’s an intense job. Nigeria has eight of its players who are used to high level competition and is a formidable side.
Enow Ngachu (Coach, Cameroon)
“We qualified after victories in our opening two games. I must admit it will be a good test against an Ivorian team that has made significant progress at the tournament. I think we have what it takes to succeed and our primary objective is to qualify for the World Cup.
We have a psychological advantage ahead of the Ivorians having beaten them 4-1 at the group phase at the last edition in 2012 in Equatorial Guinea. It’s been two years since and a lot has happened since that time. I have told my players that it will be hard and probably tight.”
Tia Ines (Striker, Cote d’Ivoire)
“A football game is played within 90 minutes. We cannot promise anything yet. We hope that the ‘gods’ of football will be on our side. I can only ask my Ivorian brothers and sisters to continue to trust us. The only message we want to convey is we will give it our best.”
Fixtures (Wednesday, 22 October 2014)
17H00: Nigeria vs South Africa (Sam Nujoma Stadium, Windhoek)
20H00: Cameroon vs Cote d’Ivoire (Sam Nujoma Stadium, Windhoek)