The West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone A qualifier for the 2022 CAF Women’s champions league is less than three days from official kickoff.
The tournament will be hosted in Liberia, the first of its kind in the country.
It will run from August 17-21, with all matches scheduled to play at the SKD Sports Stadium in Paynesville.
Three teams representing three member associations are set to compete for a slot in the main tournament that will be held in Morocco later this year.
Eight out of 33 teams participating in the qualifying phase of 6 sub-confederations will compete in the 2nd edition of the African women club football championship.
After meeting the club licensing requirements, Liberia’s champions, Determine Girls, Mali’s champions, AS Mande, and Senegal's champions Union Sportive des Parcelles (USPA), are the three teams competing for the single slot to represent WAFU Zone A at the main tournament.
Determine Girls (Liberia)- Hosts
Double champions of Liberia women’s division league, Determine Girls, are returning to the qualifying tournament after missing out during their debut appearance. Fortunately, the Liberian champions have the opportunity this time to play in front of their home fans with the mindset of performing better than in the previous tournament.
“We are excited about being the host of the tournament, and we are going to take this as an advantage to achieve our goal, which is to win the championship and qualify for the main tournament in Morocco,” Robert Lartey, Head Coach of Determine Girls said in an interview.
The team also added a couple of new players to beef up the squad ahead of the tournament.
Guinean international Bountou Sylla remains the star player and will be a player to watch out for during the tournament.
She scored 53 goals in the 2021/22 league season, surpassing Angeline Kieh’s 43 goals record.
AS Mande (Mali)
The Malian champions remain major contenders on paper and could prove this during the tournament or might not be so lucky this time.
AS Mande, also double champions of the Malian women’s division, made history in 2021 when they became the first team to represent WAFU Zone A in the maiden edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League.
They won the zonal qualifying tournament ahead of three competitors, including Liberia’s champion, Determine Girls. Mande defeated Determine Girls 4-0 to seal their first win in the competition after settling to a 2-2 against Seven Stars of Cape Verde in the opening match.
In the main tournament, the Malians dismally performed as they collected a single point from three games in Group A.
However, they proved supremacy in their domestic league to emerge as double champions to ensure they return to the qualifying tournament with eyes set on the bigger picture.
Fatoumata Diarra, 36, is the team’s star player to look out for in the tournament. During the previous qualifier in Cape Verde, she ended the tournament as one of three joint top scorers and was named MVP after winning a couple of Woman of the Match awards. Age is just a number for the 36-year-old, as she also won Woman of the Match in the main tournament for her performance against Malabo Kings.
Union Sportive des Parcelles (Senegal)
USPA might be new to the tournament, but don’t discount what they have to offer in this tournament.
Ending the 2021/22 Senegal Women’s division league as double champions as well sends a strong signal that they are capable of upsetting the odds in the qualifying tournament.
Game 1-August 17-SKD Stadium
𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐆𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐬 vs. 𝐀𝐒 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞- 4:00 pm
Game 2- August 19-SKD Stadium
𝐀𝐒 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞 vs. 𝐔𝐒𝐏𝐀- 4:00 pm
Game 3- August 21-SKD Stadium
𝐃𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐆𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐬 vs. 𝐔𝐒𝐏𝐀 -4:00 pm