Women AFCON 2024: Cameroon Eliminated in First Round!

The Women's African Cup of Nations will take place for the first time since its inception without the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon. 

The Lionesses were eliminated in the first preliminary round of qualifiers. 

Women AFCON 2024: Cameroon Eliminated in First Round!

Women AFCON 2024: Cameroon Eliminated in First Round!

Cameroon will not compete in the 15th edition of the WAFCON in Morocco next year after being edged out 4-3 in a penalty shootout by the Harambee Starlets of Kenya following an aggregate score of 1-1 over the two legs.

Kenya's Harambee Starlets dominated the first half of play, knowing they needed two goals to advance to the next round, creating chances but failing to convert them to goals. 

Coach Beldin Odemba made a triple substitution in the second half, with Cynthia Shilwatso replacing Jentrix Shikangwa, Elizabeth Wambu coming on for Tereza Engesha, and Esse Akida coming off for Violet Nanjala.  

Coach Jean Baptiste also made a triple substitution; however, the substitutes could have created more impact for his side as opposed to his opponent, whose substitute almost scored in the 67th, but her ball came off the post. 

Suggested: All You Need To Know About The Cameroon Super Cup

The Harambee starlets continued to mount pressure on the Indomitable Lionesses, breaking the deadlock in the 77th minute with Shilwatso's long-range shot, which slipped past the fingers of Michaely Kiria Bihina to give Kenya a 1-0 lead and level the tie 1-1 on aggregate.

No further goals from either side meant the game went to a penalty shootout.

The girls of Jean Baptiste kick-started the penalty shootout on sound footing, with Naomi Njoah Scoring and Cameroon's keeper, Michaely Kiria, saving the starlet captain Ruth Ingotsi's shot. 

Cameroonian's joy was short-lived after Charlene Meyong failed to convert her chance to draw the score at 1-1.

Super Sub Cynthia Shilwatso scored the lone goal in regular time and scored again to keep the game alive after a Toko Njoya strike found its way into Annedy Kundu's net.

Kenya had another chance to take the lead after a penalty kick by Fallone Meffoumetou hit the crossbar. Mwanuhalima Adam, aware of the opportunity, did not hesitate to put Kenya ahead, resulting in a 3-2 lead.

Cameroon's last penalty kick from Nchout Njoya rekindled some hope, but Sheryl Ayachi sent the Cameroonian keeper the wrong to give Kenya a 4-3 aggregate victory.

What Next For The Indomitable Lionesses?

The shock elimination of the Indomitable Lionesses will mean that Cameroon will not compete in the Prestigious continental Tournament for the first time since 1991. 

Coach Bisseck will have a few weeks of reflection on what went wrong before rallying his charges for a crucial Olympic 2024 qualifying tie against Uganda in October 2023.

On their part, the Harambee Starlets of Uganda will advance to the second qualifying phase, where they will meet Botswana, who defeated Gabon 7-1 on aggregate.

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