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FIFA Women’s World Cup: Morocco defeat ends Africa’s run at the 2023 edition

It was a best-ever performance for Africa as a continent at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup but the Round of 16 spelled the end of African participation after a series of defeats saw three nations from the continent eliminated in Australia and New Zealand. Morocco, Nigeria and African champions South Africa fell to European competition over three days after making history for a record amount of African teams to reach the knockout stages.

South Africa put in a strong effort against the Netherlands but Dutch domination of the ball helped them progress by a 2-0 result. An early goal from Jill Roord inside ten minutes had Banyana Banyana playing catchup. South Africa produced seven shots on target in a strong first half performance but the Dutch outlasted their opponents and clinched victory through a second goal from Lineth Beerensteyn in the 68th minute.

Nigeria were even closer to pulling off an upset with an excellent performance against England but were defeated in penalty kicks. The Super Falcons outshot their opponents in the opening ninety minutes and had a numerical advantage following a late red card to England’s Lauren James in the 87th minute. However, Nigeria failed to score in extra time and England kept their composure to win in the ensuing penalty shootout.

Morocco were given little chance against France and were thrashed by a 4-0 score to end Africa’s participation in Australia and New Zealand. Kadidiatou Diani scored and provided two assists to Eugenie Le Sommer in a dominant thrashing of the Atlas Lionesses who could only manage one shot attempt over ninety minutes.

Highlights from all three Round of 16 matches are below following the list of scores.


Round of 16

South Africa 0-2 Netherlands

Nigeria 0-0 England

(England advance 4-2 on penalties)

Morocco 0-4 France



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