It is the first time since 2004 that Zimbabwe will be participating at the flagship women’s tourney, and they had to wait for 12 years to break the curse. Zimbabwe, due to represent Africa at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June with neighbours South Africa, had the last laugh this time after Zambia edged them in the qualifiers two years ago.
Zimbabwe went up after seven minutes through Kudakwashe Basopo before Noria Sosala volleyed home the equalizer on 23 minutes. The Warriors restored their lead through Samkelisiwe Zulu nine minutes before the break, only for Misozu Zulu to level on the hour mark from the spot. On the strike of full time, Emmaculate Msipa struck the winner to complete a double over the Shepolopolo.
Zambia coach Albert Kachina was left ruing his team’s inability to qualify for the women’s version of the AFCON a second time after making their debut two years ago in Namibia.
“We wanted to score as many goals as we could but we were porous at the back. Conceding three goals at home is not good enough. The defence did not do it's job. We pushed most of our players upfront and that unsettled us. Zimbabwe used a lot of pace on the right side of attack, they took advantage of their speedy winger they had,” Kachinga was quoted by the Football Association of Zambia website.
Few hours later, two-time winners Equatorial Guinea also confirmed their place after a 2-1 win over Mali in Malabo, and go through 3-2 on aggregate. ‘Nzalang Nacional’, who missed out on the last edition two years ago, needed a goal in each half from Jade Boho Sayo and Adriana Costa to qualify whilst Bintou Koite scored in between for the Malians.
The remaining five teams will be decided between Monday and Tuesday amongst 10 teams including holders Nigeria.
The final tournament has been fixed for 19 November – 3 December in the Cameroonian cities of Yaounde and Limbe.
Sunday, 10 April 2016
Equatorial Guinea 2-1 Mali (1-1)
Zambia 2-3 Zimbabwe (0-1)
Monday, 11 April 2016
Cote d’Ivoire vs Egypt (0-1)
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Kenya vs Algeria (2-2)
Nigeria vs Senegal (1-1)
Ghana vs Tunisia (2-1)
South Africa vs Botswana (2-0)