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WAFCON: Zambia defeat Senegal on penalty kicks, qualify for first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup

Zambia came out on top in a tense battle with everything at stake, edging Senegal via penalty kick shootout after the teams played out a 1-1 draw in their 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations quarterfinal on Wednesday. Copper Queens goalkeeper Hazel Nali saved Senegal’s fourth penalty kick attempt and then converted the winning spot kick to send Zambia through to the semifinals and most importantly to clinch their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance at the 2023 edition. Senegal still are in the hunt for a World Cup berth and will battle for an intercontinental playoff place in the repechage round.

The match was tense and neither team wanted to take too many risks considering the World Cup berth at stake. Zambia had the better looks in the first half with Avell Chitundu’s hard shot well saved by Senegal keeper Tenning Sene after a set up pass from Ireen Lungu. Sene was quick off her line five minutes later to deny Siomala Mapepa and kept a clean sheet until halftime against the Copper Queens.

Senegal managed to strike a bit against the run of play shortly after the hour mark with Nguenar Ndiaye tallying her second goal of the competition by heading in at the far post from a free kick delivered by Mbayang Sow from the right flank. Shortly after Senegal goalkeeper Sene’s excellent match was spoiled when she allowed a free kick into the box to go through her fingers and Chitundu finished to level the score. Zambia should have won the match when captain Grace Chanda and Mapepa broke in on goal but Mapepa’s shot was kicked away by Sene and the teams went to extra time even at 1-1.

Both teams had opportunities to win the match at the end of the extra thirty minutes but penalty kicks were needed to determine a winner. Zambia got off to a good start after Korka Fall sent Senegal’s first spot kick wide but Sene brought her side back into the match with a diving save on Lushomo Mweemba’s attempt. However, it was Zambia who progressed when goalkeeper Nali saved Senegal’s fourth attempt from Ndeye Awa Diakhaté before finishing off the victory herself with a penalty kick.

Highlights are below. Zambia will face the winner between South Africa and Tunisia while Senegal await the loser.

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