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2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations – Morocco

Alik Hakhverdyan
Alik Hakhverdyan
It’s been just four months since the 2021 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament was concluded in Cameroon with Senegal emerging champions. Next month, the women’s equivalent of the tournament called the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON) will commence in Morocco.

The tournament will be the 14th edition of what used to be the African Women’s Championship.

This year’s tournament will feature 12 countries whose national teams have successfully qualified.

One of the countries, Morocco merited a place in the tournament having been selected as the tournament host.

Deservedly, Morocco comes in as one of the top five countries set to feature at this year’s AWCON.

Nicknamed the Atlas Lionesses, the North African side has been pitted in Group A to compete with Senegal, Uganda, and Burkina Faso.

In the past six months, Morocco have been a force to reckon with, almost always demolishing any opponent it faces.

Brief History:

This will be the third appearance of Morocco W at the AWCON. The first appearance was in 1998 before making another appearance in 2000.

The Atlas Lionesses are yet to advance past the group stage of the tournament. Maybe this year will be the year for the North Africans.


The hosts have been busy since February when it was confirmed they will be taking part in the 2022 AWCON.

On February 22, the Atlas Lionesses thumped the Moldova W team 4-0 in an international friendly match.

Subsequently, Morocco W thrashed Gambia W 6-1 on April 7, before seeing off Ghana W with a fantastic 2-0 victory on April 12.

In the last outing of the team, Morocco W showed no mercy when the team demolished Congo with a 7-0 win on June 11.

Those preparatory matches have helped the North Africans to put things in order as coach Reynald Pedros gears up to make a strong case with his team at the 2022 AWCON.

Upcoming friendlies:

With less than a month for the 2022 AWCON to commence, Morocco are set to play a few more friendly matches.

On Saturday, the team will take on Zambia before making arrangements to lock horns with Ivory Coast on June 23.

These matches are expected to give the team a tough test and a chance to apply the finishing touches in waiting for the start of the upcoming tournament.

At the Tournament:

At the 2022 AWCON, host Morocco will open Group A with a clash against Burkina Faso on July 2. Three days later, The Atlas Lionesses will have a fairly easy task against Uganda on matchday 2 before playing Senegal in a tricky fixture that will serve as the last group game.

  • July 2: Morocco v Burkina Faso
  • July 5: Morocco v Uganda
  • July 8: Morocco v Senegal

Player to watch:

At a time where women’s football is gradually growing on the continent, talents are emerging from Morocco. Currently, several players are playing abroad including key players.

A player who will have a lot of responsibility at the 2022 AWCON will be Rosella Ayane. The Tottenham W forward has been a star in the last few friendly matches of the Atlas Lionesses and will be expected to bang in goals for the team at the tournament.

In the last three matches before the Congo mauling, Rosella Ayane netted four goals for Morocco W.

She is one to watch at the upcoming tournament and could be the inspiration the North Africans need to rival giants Nigeria and South Africa.

Other key players that will be aiming to make a difference for Morocco W include Ghizlane Chebback, Salma Amani, and Imane Saoud

Head coach:

The Morocco W national team is coached by former French international Reynald Pedros.

The 50-year-old has rich experience and can be remembered for his successful days with the Olympic Lyon W team.

During his time with the team between 2017 and 2019, Reynald Pedros guided Lyon W to two league titles as well as two Uefa Women’s Champions League titles.

He has been in charge of the Morocco W national team since 2020 where he has had time to build a formidable team.

While the 2022 AWCON will present a tough challenge, there is a lot of confidence in the quality of Reynald Pedros to bring joy to the people of Morocco.

Countdown to the tournament:

The continent is less than three weeks away from the CAF’s flagship women’s tournament.

This year’s AWCON will feature top teams including record and defending champions Nigeria W that go into the tournament as the favourites.

South Africa after finishing second at the end of the last edition will try to run away with the trophy this year.

Cameroon, Zambia, and Tunisia will also be aiming to make an impact after securing qualifications to compete in the tournament.

The 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations will start on Saturday, July 2, 2022, and will run until Saturday, July 23, 2022.


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