African Women’s Football Championship Underway in South Africa

South Africa beat Tanzania, 2-1, Sunday in the first game of the African Women’s Football Championship, which serves as the World Cup qualifier for the Confederation of African Football. The group stage runs through Nov. 8, and the knockout round begins Nov. 11. The tournament, held in Gauteng, South Africa, features South Africa, Tanzania, Mali, and Nigeria in Group A, and Algeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana in Group B. Faith Ikidi, featured in the July 2010 issue of Our Game Magazine, is on Nigeria’s roster. The Super Falcons are favorites to win the tournament.

In the first game of the tournament, held at the Simba Stadium in Daveyton, Banyana Banyana’s Mamphasa Popela scored for South Africa in the 35th minute. Right before the first half ended, Tanzania midfielder Esther Chabruma equalized. South Africa’s Mamello Makhabane scored the game-winner on a free kick late in the game. Nigeria takes on Mali in Group A action today. Tomorrow (Nov. 2), Group B action opens up with Equatorial Guinea taking on Cameroon and Algeria facing Ghana.