Ghana’s Black Queens could be playing either Congo or Gabon in the second round of the Africa qualifying campaign for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Congo earned a crucial 2-0 away win against Gabon from the first leg played on April 3, on the opening round of the qualifying campaign, and given the advantage of hosting the second leg of this tie on Tuesday, April 9, the Congolese could be heading into the second round and a date with Ghana, as a simple win or even a draw will be enough to send them through.
With only assured ticket from the five-round qualifying campaign, the journey to Tokyo 2020 will be very interesting and intriguing for the women teams as they challenge for the opportunity to be in Tokyo.
Unlike the Women’s World Cup (WWC) where three slots are allotted for the continent, Africa has only one assured slot for the Olympics with another to be determined through a play-off against a side from South America’s CONMEBOL.
There will be five round of qualifiers with the eventual winners picking the single ticket, while the losers of that final game will engage in a play-off with the second-placed team from the Southern American Confederation, Chile, who finished as runners-up in the continental championship.
The qualifiers will be played periodically and will end on January 13, 2020 before the play-off is later determined.
In all 25 teams are participating in the qualifiers and with the exception of Mali and Algeria, all the other teams that participated in the 2018 Women’s AFCON, have been seeded and were exempted from the preliminary round which will end on April 9.
Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroun who are already preparing for the 2019 WWC in France in June, as well as Kenya and Zimbabwe, will join the competition from the second round which will be played between August 26 and September 3.
Cote d’Ivoire and Angola are already through to the second round having had walkovers against Sierra Leone (who are facing FIFA ban) and Zambia respectively, while Ethiopia have also qualified after beating Uganda 4-2 on aggregate having won 3-2 and 1-0 in the two-leg tie.
Ethiopia will face Cameroun in the second round.
Malawi take a huge 11-1 advantage into the second leg as they travel to Mozambique for the second leg and can be assured of advancing. Algeria who also won the first leg 2-0 at home against Chad, will be hoping to progress when the second leg is played on April 9.