Gladiators knocked out

Zenatha Coleman of Namibia challenged by Portia Boakye of Ghana during the 2024 WAFCON Qualifier match between Namibia and Ghana at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on the 05 December 2023. BackpagePix

The Brave Gladiators failed to qualify for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals despite beating Ghana 1-0 in their second leg qualifying match in Pretoria on Tuesday. 

Ghana held a two-goal advantage after winning their first leg encounter 3-1 in Accra last week, and Namibia got off to a great start after an early goal by Lydiana Nanamus. Despite numerous more chances Namibia could however not find the net and Ghana held on for a hard-fought 3-2 victory on aggregate to clinch their place at next year’s Afcon finals in Morocco.

After thematch, Namibia striker and captain Zenatha Coleman praised her team mates on her Facebook page. 

“Although we didn’t make it through, I am extremely proud of this team –  despite the circumstances, we beat Ghana. We had dreams, we had plans, but everything has it’s time like God promised,” she wrote on her Facebook page. 

Woody Jacobs coached the Brave Gladiators in place of regular coach Paulus Shipanga, who was suspended for the match, and Coleman also added her support for Shipanga. 

“I personally would like to give my gratitude to Coach P (Paulus Shipanga), one of the best local coaches I’ve worked with. You came, you made us stronger and we became better players and people. I thank you from the bottom of my heart Coach P. We will miss you and I wish you the best for the future,” she said. meanwhile reports that it will be the first time that Ghana’s Black Queens will be playing in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) since they last hosted the event in 2018. They agonisingly missed out on qualification for the last tournament in 2022.

Two-time champions Equatorial Guinea failed to qualify for the tournament after they were defeated 2-1 by DR Congo in another game played on Tuesday.

The Congolese grabbed their place at the flagship women’s competition 3-2 on aggregate after they played out to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg.

Meanwhile, Botswana secured their place at the tournament in Morocco after defeating Kenya 1-0at the Botswana National Stadium in Gaborone on Tuesday.

The home side advance 2-1 on aggregate after holding the Kenyan Starlets to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the final qualifier.

Elsewhere, Tunisia booked their place at the tournament in Morocco when holding Congo to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday in Brazzaville on Tuesday.

The North Africans sealed their place after winning the tie 6-3 on aggregate after the first leg ended 5-2 in Tunis few days ago.

Senegal held Egypt to a goalless draw in Cairo to qualify for the competition on a 4-0 aggregate while Mali won 3-0 against Guinea in Conakry to qualify 10-2 on aggregate.

Tanzania also secured their place at the WAFCON despite losing 1-0 against Togo in Lome but advanced 3-1 on aggregate after winning the first leg. 

Zambia were the biggest winners on Tuesday as they hammered Angola 6-0 to seal a 12-0 aggregate victory while Nigeria confirmed their place at the tournament with a 2-1 away win in Cape Verde to qualify 7-1 on aggregate. – Additional reporting by 

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