Senegal has sent a strong warning to FIFA Women’s World Cup playoff opponents Haiti with the successful defence of their title at the WAFU ‘A’ Women’s tournament in Sal, Cape Verde on Sunday.
The Senegalese became the first team ever to retain the WAFU ‘A’ tournament as they defeated the Blue Sharks 1-0 courtesy of Korka Fall’s 59th-minute strike from the spot in the final.
Rampant Mame Moussa Cisse’s ladies ended their second outing with no defeats at Estadio Marcelo Leitao, extending their unbeaten run to 10 games in the two tournaments, scoring 17 goals and conceding just once in five games in the 2023 edition.
The ruthless WAFU triumph will give the Teranga Lionesses confidence boost as they seek to clinch one of the final three qualification spots in the 10-team playoff in February 2023.
The African representative is seeking a first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup berth in July 2023 but must see off the Caribbeans in their inter-confederation play-offs opener at the North Harbour Stadium, Auckland in New Zealand on February 18.
Earlier on Sunday, the Gambia celebrated a podium finish for the first time in the competition, having edged Guinea Bissau 3-2 to clinch the bronze medal in the five-goal thriller third-place duel.
Ola Buwaro got the Scorpions off to a bright start at Estadio Marcelo Leitao with her opening goal in the 28th minute before she doubled the advantage seven minutes from half time.
After the restart, the Guineans launched a fightback and were rewarded with a breakthrough five minutes into the second half through Suraia da Silva’s brilliant finish to reduce the deficit.
However, the Gambians held on to their slender one-goal lead despite the push by the Djurtus until Kaddy Jarju notched the third in additional time to increase their winning chances.
Despite the two-goal advantage, Guinea Bissau roared back when Julia Mendes struck at the dead in a shocking late drama but the Gambians protected their narrow lead to seal the bronze.
For Woman of the Match accolades, Cape Verde’s Ivania Moreira clinched the prize despite her side’s final defeat to Senegal, while Gambia’s Ola Buwaro won the third-place prize following her brace in the Scorpions’ triumph over Guinea Bissau.
Per the tournament’s awards, Cape Verde’s Ivania Moreira was also named the Best Player of the championship, while Senegal duo of Hapsatou Diallo and Tenning Sene finished as the Topscorer with nine goals and Best Goalkeeper respectively.
Credit CAF Media