Posted on Wednesday 22 September 2010 – 12:25
AfricaNews sports desk with files from Tanzania Daily NewsThe national women soccer team of Tanzania, Twiga Stars, has been drawn in a tough group in the Africa Women Championship finals to be hosted by Ekurhuleni Municipality in South Africa from October 31 to November 14. The players will miss voting during the general election on October 31 as they play against host Banyana Banyana.According to the fixture, Twiga Stars are in Group A alongside hosts South Africa, Nigeria and Mali with Daveyton’s Sinaba Stadium and Tembisa’s Makhulong Stadium hosting the 7th edition of the event.
Twiga Stars made history after qualifying for the continental women finals, following a 3-3 draw against host Eritrea in the second leg match some two months ago.
They qualified for the CAF finals on 11-4 aggregate. From the draw, the eight teams have been housed into two groups, Group B entrants being Cameroon, Algeria, Ghana and defending champions Equatorial Guinea.
They will engage each other on a round-robin basis with the group winners and runners-up advancing to the semi final. Of the qualified teams, Tanzania’s Twiga Stars remain the only team debuting at the biennial championship since its inception in 1998.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Black Queens of Ghana, Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon and South Africa’s Banyana Banyana have participated in every single edition of the tourney since 1998 and Nigeria were five time winners in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Holders Equatorial Guinea will be making third successive appearance whereas Mali have been at the biggest stage of women’s football since 2002. The Lady Fennecs of Algeria’s have participated in two previous editions in 2006 and 2004.
The champions and runners-up will represent the continent at next edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup slated for Germany from June 26 to July 17. Equatorial Guinea won the 2008 AWC on home soil, in the process stunning Nigeria’s Super Falcons – who had won all the previous editions of the tournament -at the semi-final stage.
Equatorial Guinea then beat South Africa’s Banyana Banyana 2-1 in the 2008 final, so there will be plenty of footballing scores to settle in Ekurhuleni during what promises to be two weeks of top-class, exciting African women’s football.