Atlas Lions

Atlas Lionesses face Ivory Coast in AFCON Qualifiers

Morocco’s women national team will try to qualify for the AFCON for the first time since 2000 on Friday, as Ivory Coast stand in the way in the first round.

While the men’s team are ready for the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, the women are slowly progressing and are now ranked as the 7th best in Africa. Friday at 4pm (UTC+1), they will face Ivory Coast in game one of the first round of the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations Qualifiers. Unfortunately for Morocco, they have managed to get drawn against the one side that are ranked higher than them among the 20 teams in the first qualifying round. One can only wonder why the two best teams of the first round have to play each other but that’s just the way it is.

The return leg in Abidjan is scheduled for Tuesday next week and it will be important for the Atlas Lionesses to take a good result from Rabat with them. If they manage to advance to the second round, they will face Mali, who went through on walkover against Sierra Leone. Head coach Karim Benchrifa have called up 24 players, who also played a preparation game against Gambia on Monday, where they won 2-0. The squad basically consist of players from the two best clubs in Morocco, AS FAR and Club Municipal de Laâyoune. Sporting Huelva player Meriem Hajri is the only one playing abroad:

  • Khadija Er Rmich – FAR Rabat
  • Nouhaila Benzina – FAR Rabat
  • Aziza Rabbah – FAR Rabat
  • Zineb Rhziel – FAR Rabat
  • Naima Fadil – FAR Rabat
  • Najat Badri – FAR Rabat
  • Hanane Aït Lhaj – FAR Rabat
  • Ghizlane Chebbak – FAR Rabat
  • Ibtissam Jraidi – FAR Rabat
  • Rkia Mazouzi – FAR Rabat
  • Sanae Mssoudy – FAR Rabat
  • Fatima Zahra Maddah – FAR Rabat
  • Nourimane Addi – FAR Rabat
  • Hayat Khirou – Club de Laâyoune
  • Assia Zouhair – Club de Laâyoune
  • Siham Boukaim – Club de Laâyoune
  • Siham Maaloum – Club de Laâyoune
  • Hassania Alaidi – Club de Laâyoune
  • Zineb Samine – Club de Laâyoune
  • Meriem Bouihed – Olympique Safi
  • Khadija Ed-Dahbi – Olympique Safi
  • Ghizlane Chihiri – ANSA
  • Meriem Hajri – Sporting Huelva (Spain)

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