With the Women’s African Cup of Nations a few days away from kickoff in Morocco, FARPost compiled a list of players to watch at the elite competition.
1. Juliette Nana, Burkina Faso
The 21-year-old has been in great form with Belarus outfit Neman Groduo netting 22 goals in 25 matches this season. Nana, who scored three times against Guinea-Bissau in a two-legged tie to seal qualification, will be aiming to maintain her excellent form in front of goal by helping the team do good in Morocco.
2. Nguenar Ndiaye, Senegal
The Bourges forward played a massive part in the qualifiers, scoring four goals. The 27-year-old scored a hat-trick against Liberia and a winner against Mali, ensuring a comeback to the tournament after missing out on the 2018 edition.
3. Mariem Houij, Tunisia
The 27-year-old scored six goals in the qualifiers to end the campaign as the joint-top scorer. The in-form striker is the leading scorer in the Turkish top-flight, with 26 goals for ALG Spor this season. Houij will be eyeing to continue terrorising defences at Awcon as they are gunning for a World Cup spot and becoming the continental champions.
4. Asisat Oshoala, Nigeria
The Barcelona forward has been in top form scoring 19 goals in 16 games for the club. The 27-year-old, who won the Best Player of the Tournament and Top scorer of the Tournament in 2014 and 2016, will be aiming to maintain his top form at the tournament. The reigning and four-time African Woman Footballer is eyeing a fifth individual crown.
5. Barbra Banda, Zambia
The 22-year-old who led Zambia to its first Olympics qualification will be a crucial player in Morocco next month. Banda will be aiming to replicate his Olympics great form when she netted back-to-back hat-tricks, becoming the first female in a single tournament.
6. Thembi Kgatlana, South Africa
The Atletico Madrid star, who had a great campaign in the 2018 edition, will be aiming to continue shining for Banyana Banyana. The 25-year-old won the Player of the Tournament and Top scorer awards in 2018. Also, in the same year, she was crowned African Women’s Player of the year.
7. Ajara Nchout Njoya, Cameroon
The Inter Milan striker has been in great form this season, scoring seven goals in the new season. The 29-year-old netted twice in the qualifiers to help the team seal the Awcon ticket. Heading to the finals, Ajara will lead from the front as they seek silverware and a World Cup spot.
8. Rukiya Bizimana, Burundi
The Etoile Du Matin forward had a great qualifying campaign with Swallows after scoring four goals. The debutants will be aiming to prove a point to other teams despite being one of the underdogs in the tournament.
9. Lesego Radiakanyo, Botswana
The 22-year-old midfield maestro played a massive role in their qualifiers, scoring four goals in four matches. The Double Action FC star will be one of the stars to watch out for in the competition for the job she does in the middle of the park, bossing the midfield.
10. Ghizlane Chebbak, Morocco
The 31-year-old has scored six goals since making his debut for Atlas Lionesses in 2018. In 2020, she inspired Morocco to win the UNAT tournament in Tunisia after scoring four goals.
11. Odette Gnimtegma, Togo
The Raja Ain Harrouda will be one of the key players of the Togo team. The midfielder was vital in the qualifying campaign scoring four goals for The Ladies Sparrowhawks.
12. Ruth Aturo, Uganda
The Crested Cranes had an easy path to the finals after the withdrawal of Kenya due to FIFA suspension. The 29-year-old shot-stopper who plays for Finnish outfit FC KTP Kotka will be leading in between the sticks