By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
As Africa looks forward to the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco from July 2 to 23, the trio of Janine Van Wijk, Aboudi Onguene, and Onome Ebi will appear at the tournament as the most experienced triokas.
The three (3) players are undoubtedly the most experienced as far as women’s football is concerned based on appearances at the WAFCON and FIFA Women’s World Cup stages.
Janine Van Wijk (South Africa)
The Banyana Banyana of South Africa captain with over 160 appearances for the national team is the most capped South African player (male and female).
She is also the most capped women’s football player in Africa.
Van Wyk made her national team debut in 2005 against Nigeria in the African Women’s Championship. Van Wyk scored a stunning free-kick when Banyana recorded their first-ever win over Nigeria since the women’s national team was formed in 1993.
The owner of her South African Club, JVW scored the only goal of that match, with Banyana knocking Nigeria out of the 2012 African Women’s Championship.
Haven played for the likes of Moroka Swallows, Palace Super Falcons, JVW, Houston Dash, Fortuna Hjorring, and Glasgow City, Janine Van Wijk will have a crucial role to play if her side is to dethrone nine-time African Champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria.
The South African side has been unbeaten in regulation as far as its last three games against Nigeria are concerned under the leadership of Janine Van Wijk.
Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon)
With over ten (10) years with the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, Aboudi Onguene has played over 50 games for the 2016 Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) beaten finalist.
The former Canon Yaounde, Louves Minproff, Alpha Kaliningrad, and Rossiyanka player helped the team win gold at the All-Africa Games in Mozambique.
33-year-old Aboudi Onguéné has been nominated for African Women’s Footballer of the Year four consecutive times.
At the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Aboudi Onguéné scored an equalizer against the Netherlands during the team’s second group stage match.
As Cameroon attempt to pick its first WAFCON title in Morocco amidst challenges from Super Falcons of Nigeria, Banyana Banyana of South, and host, Morocco, the experience of the CSKA Moscow player will be pivotal for the Cameroonians.
Onome Ebi (Nigeria)
At age 39, Onome Ebi will be attending her seventh WAFCON tournament in Morocco.
The Nigerian captain has won four (4) of her previous six (6) appearances at the competition only losing the 2008 and 2012 titles to Equatorial Guinea.
The first African Footballer to play in five FIFA World Cup Tournaments, taking part in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015, 2019 editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Ebi will attempt to clinch Nigeria’s tenth title in Morocco.
The former Bayelsa Queens, Pitea, Djurgarden, and Minsk FK defender will play a significant role in the Nigerian side as her defensive role of number 5 is still relevant until her replacement is found.
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