2018 African women’s footballer of the year, who does the crown fit?

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On January 8th 2019 in Dakar Senegal, a new Queen of women football in Africa will emerge. Will the present holder Asisat Oshoala retain the award, or will there be a new winner? This question will be answered when Confederation of African Football, CAF, converges in the city of Dakar Senegal to unveil the winner.
While we await the big day, Our Correspondent, Faith Oluchi who was in Ghana for the women’s Cup of Nations picks her possible top five that could clicnch the prestigious award.
1. Chrestinah Kgatlana (South Africa/Houston Dash)
Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana is a South African forward . She plays for Houston Dash  in the National Women’s Soccer League and is a member of the South African Natonal team. Kgatlana is a top contender for the prestigious award having distinguished herself in the 2018 African Women’s Cup Of Nations tournament in Ghana where she represented and helped her country to qualify for the FIFA world cup for the very first time in the history of South Africa. Kgatlana won woman of the match award twice, player of tournament,  highest goal scorer and was named in the tournament best XI. She had 16 appearances, scored  two goals  and three assists for her club Huston Dash this season. If Kgatlana eventually scoops the award in Dakar Senegal, she will be the second South African after Noko Matlou (2008) to have won the award.
 2.  Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria/Dalian Quanjian)

Asisat Oshoala who had previously won the award in 2014 and 2016 , beat Cameroonian Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Christina Kgatlana of South Africa to the top prize in 2017. In her first season in China, she notched 12 goals including a brace in the final game of the season. Her exploits earned Quanjian a league and cup double, she was also crowned the League’s best striker.

At the end of the 2018 season, Oshoala finished as second highest goal scorer with 10 goals behind Tabitha Chawinga and helped her club Dalian retain their league crown.

Oshoala won the woman of the match award once, was named in the substitutes team of the tournament and lifted the African women’s cup of Nations trophy with Nigeria in Ghana.  Oshoala is on the verge of equalling Perpetua Nkwocha’s four time record winner of the award if she gets to win it in Dakar but it definitely won’t come easy.

 

 

3.  Onome Ebi (Nigeria/Henan Huishang FC)

Onome Ebi is a classical example of winners never quit and quitters never win, considering the career threatening injury she had during the final of 2016 African Women’s Cup Of Nations in Yaounde Cameroon and how she was able to overcome the setback after almost a year without kicking ball, picked herself up and became a solid rock for her  club Henan Huishang Fc. Onome played in all except one match for her club and also scored three goals this season. She was the solid rock that took charge of Super Falcons of Nigeria defence during the 2018 African Women’s Cup Of Nations in Ghana, it’s not surprising that she was named in the tournament best XI after the competition by CAF.

Onome had a great season in her club, crowned it with her fourth AWCON title in Ghana and it won’t be surprising if she gets to the podium to lift the prestigious award.

 

 

4. Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi/Jiangsu Huatai) :

In 2017, Chawinga finished as Swedish Damallsvenskan top scorer, netting 25 goals before she was snapped up by Jiangsu Huatai  of China from Kvarnsveden of Sweden in January 2018.

Since her arrival in China, the Malawi international has been an instant hit for Jiangsu after she helped them to a Chinese Women Championship title and also emerged the top scorer with eight goals.

At the end of the 2018 season, Chawinga ended with 17 goals to scoop the league top scorer award.

Tabitha will be a top contender for this year’s award considering all her exploits this season for her club, she may not have featured in the 2018 African women cup of Nations but her records in her club this season is good enough to see her through to the podium.

 

 

5. Francesca Ordega (Nigeria/Washington Spirit)
Francesca Ordega had a great season with her club Washington Spirit having played 18 matches and scored three goals for her club. She also had a good outing in 2018 African Women’s Cup Of Nations in Ghana, scored two crucial goals with two assists and won two woman of the match awards.
Though many pundits believes that Ordega deserves to be in the tournament best XI, she was named in the substitutes  team of the tournament by CAF.

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