With the 7-1 dismantling of Equatorial Guinea yesterday by Bafana Bafana as well as the 4:0 pummeling of Zambia by Nigeria, the Women's Afcon group B has a totally new look.
While South Africa sits atop with 6 points, Nigeria and Zambia are technically in second with 3 points each, but Nigeria gets the nod because of the head to head record between the two latter teams.
So it looks like this:
South Africa 6
Nigeria 3 * won head to head vs Zambia
Equatorial Guinea 0
What does this boil down to with each team having one game to spare?
If South Africa wins against Zambia and Nigeria beats Equatorial Guinea both Bafana Bafana and the Super Falcons will progress. However, if Zambia beats the RSA, which they are quite capable of doing, then regardless of a Nigeria win against Equatorial Guinea, they both would be tied at six points. So while Nigeria would still have the advantage to advance, it is imperative that the Falcons make the goals rain in their final game.
There is an old saying that one does not kick anybody who is down - agreed. But if there was ever a scenario where one could look past this understanding, it would be the one the Falcons have against the Nzalang Nacional.
As you may remember, in the past, several rival teams in recent African women's championships complained that two of its former players – the captain then, Genoveva Anonma, and a striker, Salimata Simpore – had one Y chromosome too many. In other words, they stood up to urinate. Nigeria was one of the most vocal because this incident caused them at least one of their two missing African crowns.
Case and point: the Equatorial Guinea’s women national team has been banned by the world football’s governing body and by Caf so many times you need a graph to keep track. Fifa expelled them from participating in the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France for fielding 10 Brazilian-born players. Muriel Linda Mendoua Abessolo and Francisca Angue Ondo Asangono, were then found guilty of using forged and falsified documents and were served a ten-match ban. The violations, which also attracted a fine of $102,000, were perpetrated during the qualification competition for the Rio 2016 Olympic women’s tournament. We do not need to point out that they beat Nigeria 2-1 during these qualifiers ( see photo) though they were denied the Olympic ticket eventually by the RSA.
Right at the cusp of this Afcon, Kenya cried foul again when they pointed fingers at the Guinean star and Cameroonian-born Annette Jacky Messomo. Messomo, 25, played for Equatorial Guinea in the final round of the qualifiers against Kenya, which the two-time African champions won 3-2 on aggregate. The Kenyan football body noted that Messomo had not met the Fifa naturalisation requirements for players without family roots in a particular country.
While Caf initially sided with the East Africans and expelled Equatorial Guinea, a few days before the competition they incomprehensibly flip-flopped and allowed them back in. This action, in addition to the for mentioned grievances within Africa, that have not really been appropriately addressed and punished by Caf, have many now believing that the deep pockets of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Africa's longest-ruling President, and a big Caf contributor, may have something to do with this absurd and unspoken immunity.
Based on all of this, and the fact that Zambia scored 5 against them, just as the RSA did 7, Nigeria must now pound them silly and make the goals rain. If not for the mere fact that we need not leave any stone unturned and make sure our goals-against and the goals-for difference is unquestionably the best in the group, then just to remind them that we have not forgotten their questionable behaviour both past and present.
I personally want an eight-goal punishment, but please feel free and ask for more.