The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, one of the most successful women’s football teams in Africa, have suffered a shock elimination from the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WACON) qualifiers after losing to Kenya on penalties in the first round.
Cameroon beat the Harambee Starlets 1-0 in Douala, which means they needed just a draw to go into the next round. After the Starlets scored the lone goal of today’s game, the two teams were tied 1-1 on aggregate, which meant that penalty shootouts were needed to determine which team would advance to the next round.
Kenya’s players held their nerve to convert four of their five penalties, while Cameroon missed two of theirs, resulting in a 4-3 defeat.
Their elimination also means that they will not be able to participate in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand. Cameroon had qualified for the previous two World Cups, and they were hoping to make it three in a row.
The Indomitable Lionesses’ coach, Jean Baptist Bisseck, was inconsolable over the team’s loss.
“I’m very disappointed with the result,” he said. “We had our chances to win the game, but we didn’t take them. Kenya played well, and they deserve to go through.”
Bisseck also admitted that the team needed to improve if they wanted to compete at the highest level.
“We need to work on our finishing and our decision-making in the final third,” he said. “We also need to be more patient and composed on the ball.”
The elimination of the Indomitable Lionesses is a reminder that the level of women’s football in Africa is rising rapidly. Kenya has never qualified for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations before, but their victory over Cameroon shows that they are a team to be reckoned with.
It will be interesting to see how Cameroon responds to this setback. They will need to make some changes if they want to challenge for major trophies again.
The elimination of the Indomitable Lionesses from the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers is a major upset. Cameroon is one of the most successful women’s football teams in Africa, and they were one of the favorites to win the 2024 tournament.
The elimination of the Indomitable Lionesses also raises questions about the future of women’s football in Cameroon. They have not won the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations since 2016 after losing in the finals to Nigeria, and they have now failed to qualify for the tournament for the first time in over two decades.
Kenya will be facing the winner of the match, Gabon vs. Botswana. Morocco, who were hosts and runners-up of the previous AWCON.