2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations

The 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, officially known as the Total Women's Africa Cup Of Nations, Ghana 2018,[1] was the 11th edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations (13th edition if tournaments without hosts are included), the biennial international football championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the women's national teams of Africa. The tournament was held in Ghana,[2] from 17 November to 1 December 2018.[3]

2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations
Tournament details
Host countryGhana
Dates17 November – 1 December 2018
Teams8 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)2 (in 2 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Nigeria (11th title)
Runners-up South Africa
Third place Cameroon
Fourth place Mali
Tournament statistics
Matches played16
Goals scored51 (3.19 per match)
Top scorer(s) Thembi Kgatlana (5 goals)
Best player(s) Thembi Kgatlana
Fair play award Cameroon

The tournament also doubles as the African qualifiers to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The top three teams qualified for the World Cup in France.[4]

Nigeria were the defending champions. They won the tournament for their third consecutive and 11th overall Africa Women Cup of Nations title.


In July 2016, Total has secured an eight-year sponsorship package from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to support 10 of its principal competitions.[5] Due to this sponsorship, the 2018 Women's Africa Cup of Nations is named "2018 Total Women's Africa Cup of Nations".

Host selection

There were no other associations bidding to host the event other than Ghana.[6] Ghana was de facto awarded the hosting rights on 27 September 2016 and officially in mid December.[7] It is the first time they hosted the women's event.

Following media reports in mid-2018 that Ghana may be stripped of the hosting rights, this topic was discussed at the meeting of the Organising Committee for Women's Football on 12 September, and a final decision not to replace Ghana as host was taken by the CAF Executive Committee at its meeting on 27–28 September, though the Secretariat would continue to closely monitor preparations.[8][9]


The mascot for the 11th Edition of Total Women's African Cup of Nations is called Agrohemaa and it is represented by an eagle. The reason why the eagle is used for the tournament is because of its courage, strength, focus and immortality.[10]


Ghana qualified automatically as hosts, while the remaining seven spots were determined by the qualifying rounds played in April and June 2018.[11]

Equatorial Guinea were initially banned from the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations,[12] but were reinstated after the ban was lifted in July 2017 at an emergency CAF committee meeting, and were included in the qualifying draw. However, FIFA banned them from qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, meaning they could not qualify for the World Cup regardless of their performance in the Africa Women Cup of Nations.[13][14]

Qualified teams

The following eight teams qualified for the final tournament. Initially, Kenya replaced Equatorial Guinea after they were disqualified by the CAF for fielding an ineligible player,[15][16] but the decision was overturned on appeal, and Equatorial Guinea were reintegrated into the competition.[17] Kenya appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport,[18] but failed to overturn the decision.[19]

Team Appearance Previous best performance FIFA ranking
at start of event[20]
 Ghana (hosts)12thRunners-up (1998, 2002, 2006)47
 Algeria5thGroup stage (2004)80
 Cameroon13thRunners-up (1991, 2004, 2014, 2016)49
 Equatorial Guinea5thChampions (2008, 2012)54
 Mali7thGroup stage (2006, 2016)89
 Nigeria13thChampions (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2016)38
 South Africa12thRunners-up (1995, 2000, 2008, 2012)50
 Zambia3rdQuarter-finals (1995)116


The tournament was held in Accra and Cape Coast.[21]

Accra Cape Coast
Accra Sports Stadium Cape Coast Sports Stadium
Capacity: 40,000 Capacity: 15,000


Each squad can contain a maximum of 21 players (Regulations Article 69).[22][23][24]

Match officials

A total of 16 referees and 16 assistant referees were appointed for the tournament.[25][26]


The draw for the final tournament was held on 21 October 2018, 19:00 GMT (UTC±0), at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.[27][28] The eight teams were drawn into two groups of four teams. The hosts Ghana were seeded in Group A and allocated to position A1, and the holders Nigeria were seeded in Group B and allocated to position B1.[22] The remaining six teams were seeded based on their results in the last three editions of the Africa Women Cup of Nations, and drawn to any of the remaining three positions in each group.[29][30]

Seeds Pot 1 Pot 2

Note: Kenya were initially included in the draw, but Equatorial Guinea were reinstated to the competition afterwards.

Group stage

The top two teams of each group advance to the semi-finals.


Teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Article 71):[22]

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  5. Goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Goals scored in all group matches;
  7. Drawing of lots.

All times are local, GMT (UTC±0).[31]

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Cameroon 3 2 1 0 6 2 +4 7 Knockout stage
2  Mali 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1 6
3  Ghana (H) 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
4  Algeria 3 0 0 3 2 7 5 0
Source: CAF
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
(H) Host.
Ghana 1–0 Algeria
Mali 1–2 Cameroon
Referee: Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama (Tanzania)

Ghana 1–2 Mali
Referee: Letticia Antonella Viana (Eswatini)
Cameroon 3–0 Algeria
Referee: Fatou Thioune (Senegal)

Cameroon 1–1 Ghana
Referee: Maria Rivet (Mauritius)
Algeria 2–3 Mali
Referee: Patience Madu Ndidi (Nigeria)

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  South Africa 3 2 1 0 9 2 +7 7 Knockout stage
2  Nigeria 3 2 0 1 10 1 +9 6
3  Zambia 3 1 1 1 6 5 +1 4
4  Equatorial Guinea 3 0 0 3 1 18 17 0
Source: CAF
Rules for classification: Group stage tiebreakers
Nigeria 0–1 South Africa
Zambia 5–0 Equatorial Guinea
Referee: Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco)

Nigeria 4–0 Zambia
Referee: Suavis Iratunga (Burundi)
Equatorial Guinea 1–7 South Africa
Referee: Dorsaf Ganouati (Tunisia)

Equatorial Guinea 0–6 Nigeria
Referee: Vincentia Enyonam Amedome (Togo)
South Africa 1–1 Zambia
Referee: Carolyne Wanjala (Kenya)

Knockout stage

In the knockout stage, extra time and penalty shoot-out are used to decide the winner if necessary, except for the third place match where penalty shoot-out (no extra time) is used to decide the winner if necessary (Regulations Article 72).[22]


27 November – Accra
 Cameroon0 (2)
1 December – Accra
 Nigeria (p)0 (4)
 Nigeria (p)0 (4)
27 November – Cape Coast
 South Africa0 (3)
 South Africa2
Third place match
30 November – Cape Coast


Winners qualify for 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

South Africa 2–0 Mali
Referee: Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama (Tanzania)

Third place match

Winner qualifies for 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Cameroon 4–2 Mali



There were 51 goals scored in 16 matches, for an average of 3.19 goals per match.

5 goals

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal


The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament:[32]

Award Winner
Best player Thembi Kgatlana
Top scorer Thembi Kgatlana
Fair Play award  Cameroon
Team of the Tournament
Goalkeeper Defenders Midfielders Forwards Substitutes
Tochukwu Oluehi Lebogang Ramalepe
Janine van Wyk
Onome Ebi
Claudine Meffometou
Raissa Feudjio
Marlyse Ngo Ndoumbouk
Elizabeth Addo
Gabrielle Onguéné
Thembi Kgatlana
Bassira Touré
Kaylin Swart
Asisat Oshoala
Linda Motlhalo
Genevieve Ngo Mbeleck
Francisca Ordega
Fatoumata Diarra

Qualified teams for FIFA Women's World Cup

The following three teams from CAF qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Team Qualified on Previous appearances in FIFA Women's World Cup1
 Nigeria27 November 2018[33]7 (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
 South Africa27 November 2018[33]0 (debut)
 Cameroon30 November 2018[34]1 (2015)
1 Bold indicates champions for that year. Italic indicates hosts for that year.


  1. "Total, Title Sponsor of the Africa Cup of Nations and Partner of African Football". CAF. 21 July 2016. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016.
  2. "GHANA TO HOST 2018 AFRICA WOMEN CUP OF NATIONS". dhakaba.com. 28 September 2016. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  3. "Decisions of the CAF Executive Committee of 14 March 2017". CAFonline.com. 14 March 2017.
  4. "Circular #1565 - FIFA women's tournaments 2018-2019" (PDF). FIFA.com. 11 November 2016.
  5. AfricaNews (18 April 2017). "Total to sponsor CAF competitions for the next eight years". Africanews. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. "Ghana to host 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations". modernghana.com. 28 September 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  7. "GFA receives official mandate to host 2018 Women AFCON". ghanafa.org. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  8. "Statement on Total Women's Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018". CAF. 27 August 2018.
  9. "Decisions of CAF Executive Commitee [sic] - 27 & 28 September 2018". CAF. 29 September 2018.
  10. "'Agrohemaa' the Eagle unveiled as mascot for 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations". ghanasoccernet.com. 28 September 2018.
  11. "2018 African Women's Cup of Nations qualifiers moved". Goal.com. 16 December 2017.
  12. "Equatorial Guinea disqualified, Mali in". CAF. 4 August 2016.
  13. "Equatorial Guinea banned from 2019 Women's World Cup". BBC. 6 October 2017.
  14. "Equatorial Guinea expelled from FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019". FIFA.com. 5 October 2017.
  15. "Harambee Starlets appeal against Equatorial Guinea upheld, Kenya set to grace AWCON". Football Kenya Federation. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  16. "Kenya through, Equatorial Guinea disqualified". CAF. 18 October 2018.
  17. "DECISIONS OF THE APPEAL BOARD OF 7th NOVEMBER 2018". CAF. 7 November 2018.
  18. "Kenya to appeal to Cas over Equatorial Guinea reinstatement". BBC Sport. 8 November 2018.
  19. "Kenya loses CAS appeal over Women's Nations Cup exclusion". BBC Sport. 16 November 2018.
  20. "Women's Ranking – 28 September 2018 (CAF)". FIFA.com.
  21. "TOTAL WOMEN'S AFCON GHANA 2018 OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED". cafonline.com. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  22. "Regulations of the Women Africa Cup of Nations" (PDF). CAF.
  23. "Squad List finalized". CAF. 16 November 2018.
  24. "Squad lists" (PDF). CAF.
  25. "Referees step up preparations for Ghana 2018". CAF. 16 October 2018.
  26. "List of pre-selected referees" (PDF). CAF.
  27. "Accreditation for official draw and final tournament". CAF. 8 October 2018.
  28. "Finalists learn their fate in balanced draw". CAF. 21 October 2018.
  29. "Ghana, Nigeria named top seeds". CAF. 21 October 2018.
  31. "Fixtures AWCON 2018" (PDF). CAF.
  33. "Nigeria and history-making South Africa secure France 2019 qualification". FIFA.com. 27 November 2018.
  34. "Cameroon secure their berth for France 2019". FIFA.com. 30 November 2018.
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