Wafcon 2022: 2023 Women's World Cup spots at stake in quarter-finals

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Ghizlane Chebbak (right) celebrates her goal for Morocco against SenegalWafcon hosts Morocco are looking to qualify for the Women's World Cup for the first time

Africa's four participants at the 2023 Women's World Cup will be decided on Wednesday and Thursday at the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon).

The tournament in Morocco is doubling up as qualification for next year's finals in Australia and New Zealand, with the four winning quarter-finalists all booking tickets to the 32-team World Cup.

The stakes mean extra pressure on the eight participants; Botswana, Cameroon, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

However, Morocco coach Reynald Pedros also has one eye on the bigger picture and becoming continental champions.

"We are all together behind the same objective, qualifying for the World Cup," the Frenchman said.

"We have to reassure the players about the potential of our team. It must be an additional motivation. We are going to play this match with a lot of desire, determination, as we did in each match.

"The tournament does not stop at the semi-finals. We have the ambition of course, if we qualify, to go as far as possible."

Zambia take on Senegal and Morocco play Botswana on Wednesday, with Cameroon facing fellow continental heavyweights Nigeria and South Africa coming up against Tunisia a day later.

Botswana are making their debut at Wafcon, but coach Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang rates the chances of her side.

"It's about preparing well and coming up with a good plan by analysing the Moroccans so that we can capitalise on their weaknesses," she said.

There will be at least two first-time qualifiers for the World Cup as, from the quarter-final line-up in Morocco, only Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa have previously appeared at the global finals.

For the four sides beaten in the Wafcon last eight, there will be another opportunity to reach the 2023 World Cup.

Two repechage matches on Sunday will provide Africa's two participants in a 10-team intercontinental play-off which will decide the final three qualifiers for next year's tournament.

Wafcon quarter-final fixtures

  • Zambia v Senegal (Casablanca, Wednesday, 17:00 GMT)
  • Morocco v Botswana (Rabat, Wednesday, 20:00 GMT)
  • Cameroon v Nigeria (Casablanca, Thursday, 17:00 GMT)
  • South Africa v Tunisia (Rabat, Thursday, 20:00 GMT)
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