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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Cameroon and Zambia fight to stalemate in WAFCON opener

Group B opened up play at the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations with a 0-0 draw between Cameroon and Zambia on Saturday in Casablanca. The Indomitable Lionesses had the better of opportunities but were frustrated by a stingy Zambian defense and forced to share the points. Zambia will face Tunisia in their next match on Wednesday and Cameroon will face WAFCON debutants Togo.

It was a struggle for either team to create opportunities in the first half. Cameroon looked a bit more threatening but Zambia were difficult to break down and had their chances to threaten the Cameroonian goal, primarily through attacker Grace Chanda. Soon after halftime Cameroon nearly had a penalty kick awarded after an apparent hand ball by Zambia’s Lushomo Mweemba in the penalty area but the Video Assistant Referee determined a foul on Cameroon had occurred shortly before the hand ball.

In the final half hour Cameroon forward Flora Kameni had two excellent looks to put her team in the lead. Kameni had an excellent look in the 64th minute after a bouncing ball into the penalty area gave the Zambian defense issues but somehow missed an open goal with goalkeeper Hazel Nali out of position.

At the start of second half stoppage time Kameni did well to flick the ball over Nali and send a header towards goal but Mweemba scrambled back to head clear. Cameroon appeared to win it at the end of stoppage time but Ajara Njoya was judged to be offsides after finishing past Nali, leaving Zambia the happier of the two sides with earning a point against the group favorites.

Highlights from Casablanca are below.