Cameroonian hearts broken as Portugal, Haiti qualify for first-ever Women's World Cup

FIFA WWC Cameroonian hearts broken as Portugal, Haiti qualify for first-ever Women's World Cup

Jidechi Chidiezie 11:25 - 22.02.2023

Africa will not be having five representatives in Australia/New Zealand.

The expanded FIFA Women's World Cup would be welcoming two more debutants when the tournament kicks off in July 2023, with Portugal and Haiti, making their first-ever appearances.

Both sides sealed their qualifications to Australia and New Zealand in dramatic fashion on Wednesday, with Portugal, scoring a 94th-minute winner to defeat Cameroon 2-1, while Haiti had to hold on to victory like their lives depended on it, in a thrilling 2-1 victory over Chile.

Qualified teams will occupy the remains spots in the Groups at the 2023 Women's World Cup

Following their qualifications on Wednesday, the number of qualified teams for the women's showpiece now rises to 31 from 29, with the 32nd team to be decided on Thursday.

Africa misses chance at 5 teams at the WWC

Following their victory over Thailand in the semifinals of the inter-confederation qualification playoffs, Cameroon looked good to take Africa's representation in Australia/New Zealand to five: with South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Zambia already qualified.

However, things were not going to go their way in the Bracket A final, as the Portuguese opened the scoring through Diana Gomes in the 22nd minute.

Cameroon did fight back and secure a late equalizer through Ajara Njoya Nchout, but a 90+4th minute penalty converted by Carole Costa was all the Europeans needed to book their place at the expense of the Indomitable Lionesses.

Portugal will now proceed to Group E where they will face reigning world champions the United States, 2019 finalists Netherlands and fellow debutants Vietnam.

Haiti proceed to Group D

En route to their Bracket B final with Chile, Haiti defeated Africa's other prospective representative Senegal 4-0 on Saturday.

Two goals from Melcie Durmonay in the added minutes of the first and second halves gave Haiti a comfortable 2-0 lead enough to secure their place, but it wasn't going to come without Chile first, handing them a late scare as Maria Jose Rojas scored a 90+11th minute goal.

With the 2-1 victory, the 55th-ranked Haiti are now bound to make their mark on the world scene for the first time in their history. 

They will feature in Group D of the Women's World Cup alongside European champions England, 1999 runner-ups China, and two-time quarterfinalists Denmark.

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