A quartet of African teams are aiming to make history at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as the competition kicked off on Thursday.
The most experienced campaigners are Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who have qualified for every edition but are yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals.
With star striker Asisat Oshoala back fit after injury, the 2014 U-20 World Cup Golden Ball winner will be key to Nigeria’s hopes of emerging from a tough Group B also containing hosts Australia, Olympic champions Canada and Ireland.
Newly-crowned Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners South Africa will appear at their second straight World Cup looking to advance from the group stage for the first time.
A tough ask awaits in Group G against two-time Olympic silver medalists Sweden, European giants Italy and South American outfit Argentina.
After claiming their best-ever finish of runners-up at the Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco have qualified for their maiden World Cup.
The Atlas Lionesses face the stern test of Euro 2022 finalists Germany in Group H, alongside Colombia and South Korea.
Rounding out Africa’s representatives are Zambia, continental bronze medalists who are also debutants on the global stage.
Their difficult Group C task is led by an opener against 2011 champions Japan.
Further challenges await against Spain’s Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas and Costa Rica.
While the African nations face uphill battles to reach the knockout rounds, their presence symbolizes the growth of the women’s game across the continent.
With a sprinkling of stars and an abundance of emerging talent, they are ready to make their mark on the world’s biggest stage.