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Gabriel Zabo not contemplating 2023 Women’s World Cup without Cameroon

Head coach of Cameroon’s senior women’s team, Gabriel Zabo insists he is not contemplating missing out on this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup with the Indomitable Lionesses.

In July, the Central Africans missed an automatic ticket for the quadrennial global showpiece after a 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Nigeria at the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, but a 1-0 win over Botswana kept their dream of a third consecutive berth alive.

Ahead of intercontinental playoff, the Lionesses must negotiate their way past Thailand on 18 February 2023 in the semi-final in Hamilton before they set up a final date with Portugal at the same venue four days later and the tactician is bracing up for a tricky playoff challenge.

“Speaking about the possibility of our qualification, we have not for once think of not qualifying, all along we’ve been thinking about qualifying for our third consecutive Women’s World Cup,” Zabo told

“This will surely not happen without challenges, one of our major challenges in preparing for this is timezone, and the possible late arrival of players from different parts of the world, this is a reality which we are faced with.

“The fact that some girls will arrive around the 15th or so, however, we are very optimistic about our chances going into the playoffs.”

Cameroon failed to reach the WAFCON semi-final for the first time since 2000 but Zabo is confident his side can make good use of the valuable lessons learnt from their Morocco 2022 campaign at the upcoming international playoff.

“We learnt a lot of lessons but one of the most notable is the fact that we were very good defensively, we were one of the best defensive teams in the whole competition, with only two goals, this is a positive and we are going to build on it,” he continued.

Liste des joueuses présélectionnées pour le stage préparatoire au tournoi des barrages la Coupe du Monde Féminine de la FIFA, Australie & Nouvelle-Zélande 2023. Stage qui se déroulera du 16 au 29 janvier 2023 à Yaoundé.— Lionnes Indomptables (@LionnesIndompt1) January 13, 2023

“Going to more or less a knockout event, where the result determines whether you go to the next stage or not, we will build on the good aspects of defending and make sure that we defend very well and take our chances when they present themselves.

“We maximise our chances from the first round to the second stage and make sure we qualify for the Women’s World Cup.”

Meanwhile, Zabo has since begun preparations for the playoffs on Monday, January 16, with a preliminary squad of 25 dominated by players from the Guinness Super League, while Bayelsa Queens goalkeeper Bawou Ange Gabrielle and FC Yverdo defender Doudou Ousmanou are the only invited two outside the country.

After the first camping on 29 January, the foreign-based professionals will join the eventual players that make the final squad.

Les 25 joueuses présélectionnées par le coach Gabriel Zabo ont entamé ce lundi 16 janvier 2023 le premier stage préparatoire au Tournoi des barrages qualificatif à la FIFAWWC2023.— Lionnes Indomptables (@LionnesIndompt1) January 16, 2023


Goalkeepers: 1- Bawou Ange Gabrielle (Bayelsa Queens-Nigeria); 2- Biya Cathy (Eclair Ff); 3. Ongmahan Marthe (Lekie Ff);

Defenders: 4- Doudou Ousmanou (Fcyverdon Sport F); 5- Moumazim Poumbo Brigitte Michelle (Lekie Ff); 6- Magoumkoua Koesso Jeanne Jawa Fc); 7 – Ngaseh Mbele Bernadette (Eclair Ff); 8- Mbengono Catherine (Fortuna Ffi); 9- Fanta Florence (Eclair Ff); 10-Ngono Marie Victoire (Eclair Ff); 11- Wanki Rita Awachwi (Amazone Fap); 12- Ambessegue Bakendj Reine (Amazone Fap)

Midfielders: 13- Sindjie Tchanko Diane (Amazone Fap); 14- Ndjoah Eto Naomie Leslie (Amazone Fap); 15- Omboudou Brigitte (Fcebolowa); 16- Mbomozomo Brigitte Yvana (Amazone Fap); 17. Raihana Moussa (Vision Foot Academy); 18- Tim Shalom Nakoma Ngam (Authentic Ladies)

Forwards: 19-Ossol Kevine (Eclair Ff); 20-Ngah Manga Marie Gisele Divine (Lekie Ff); 21 Nkamo Yoga Zafirah (Apulia Trina Bo Italie); 22-Mbuh Confidence(Amazone Fap); 23-Tabe Brenda Ebika (Lekie Ff); 24-Bibout Eliane Aimee (Eclair Ff); 25-Aboudi Assongna Jennifer Blandine (Eclair Ff)


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