Morocco women make history with spot at WAFCON final after defeating Nigeria

Morocco women make history with spot at WAFCON final after defeating Nigeria
Morocco's Atlas Lionesses made history on Monday by defeating defending champions Nigeria in a penalty shoot-out to secure their place in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
2 min read
19 July, 2022
The female football team's victory was celebrated by Moroccans across social media [Getty]

Morocco’s female football team defeated Nigeria on Monday to reach the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) for the first time in history. 

The Atlas Lionesses, playing on their home turf in Rabat, beat the defending champions 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at full time. 

The north African team are now strong contenders for the WAFCON title as well as in the running for FIFA's Women World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand. 

"History was made today! Thank you all for supporting our phenomenal girls," said Equipe du Maroc, the official account of Morocco's national football, on social media. 

"We fought bravely against all odds but bow out of the semifinal on penalties," wrote NGSuper_Falcons, the official Nigerian account. 

Nigerian forward Uchenna Kanou scored the first goal at 62 minutes with Morocco’s Sanae Messoudi equalising four minutes later. 

Neither team was able to net another point during the initial 90 minutes or 30 minutes of extra time, which led to a dramatic penalty shoot-out. 

The stadium was at full capacity for the match with around 53,000 coming out to watch the high-stakes game, according to the BBC. 

“We are a perfect example of what an African country can do with its women’s team,” said the head coach of the Atlas Lionesses, Reynald Pedros. 

Nigeria has previous won WAFCON eleven times, losing out on the top spot to Equatorial Guinea only twice in the tournament's history. 

Now a new champion will be crowded as Morocco play South Africa on July 23.