Egypt were quick to settle into the game and forced early corner kicks as forwards Nesma Fekry , Mahera Ali and Salma Tarek sought to stretch out the Ethiopian defence. The first corner kick for Egypt had Dagmawet Bekele in goal for Ethiopia parry the ball away from her goal-line with her defenders still finding their feet. The sight of it all was all Engi Atia needed when she lined up the second corner kick which she swung with her left boot and it eluded all in the box to nestle into the back of the net for the opening goal.
A stunned Ethiopia slowly got back into the game and impressed with some short neat passes initiated from the back. Soon Eden Negri was finding her range with passes and linking up with midfielder Birtukan Ware, Biza and Abaa but the final ball and short was largely lacking. Egyptian defence held tightly by Neven Gamal and Yasmin Samir was soon over-working as the Ethiopians dominated play. One well worked out move started by Berktawit Aboye put Abaa through on goal but she shot tamely straight into Fawkia Amry’s hands but the warning signs were flashing for the hosts. As the half time mark beckoned Ethiopia were virtually camped in the Egyptian half leaving the home side chasing the ball. The equaliser eventually came through Biza who headed clinically past Amry from a delightful cross by Abaa after some neat exchanges. The teams went into the break at 1-1 with Egypt relieved for a change to regroup.
At the start of the second half both coaches introduced substitutes and the new players had immediate impact. Haiam Abd El Hafiz brought some pace and trickery upfront for Egypt. She almost put Egypt in front when she intercepted an attempted pass across the backline by the Ethiopians but her shot sailed over the cross bar. The Ethiopian defence didn’t seem to heed the danger of playing the square passes across the backline and they were to pay for it later. Abdel Hafiz got onto a through ball but seemed to have had a heavy touch as she raced towards goal. Bekele came off her goal-line and from the ensuing contact with Abd El Hafiz the Egyptians were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Atia to skillfully convert for hers and Egypt’s second goal. The goal brought back the momentum in Egypt’s favour and they went in search for more goals with Sara Abdallah and Salma Tarek making dangerous runs behind the opposition’s defence.
Egypt carved up a move involving a number of players and it was skillfully finished off by Tarek running onto a ball into space behind the defence and she picked her spot, knocking it past Bekele as she came off her line. Ethiopian was stunned again and it got worse shortly afterwards when Ethiopian captain Bezuhan Alemar who up until then had had a good game was caught in two minds with the ball at her feet . She was robbed of the ball by an alert Abd El Hafiz who ran on goal placed her shot beyond diving Bekele. Egypt sought to play out the game and the visitors encouraged by coach Abraham Teklehymanot went for a late rally to try and reduced the deficit.
As urgency crept into the Ethiopian game, Ware’s delicate touch returned and she was again finding the forwards with some fine passes. Abaa made the most of a long ball that was not dealt with by Egyptian defence and she raced towards goal before shooting across Amry for Ethiopia’s second. There final whistle came not too long after that goal and the two teams will battle it out all over again in two weeks in Ethiopia.
Mali 0-3 Ghana
Goals from Faiza Ibrahim, Mercy Myles and Leticia Zikpi sealed victory for Ghana.
With a first leg win in the bag, Kuuku Dadzie's side will host the return game at home in a fortnight's time to end the preliminary round fixture.
Faiza opened the scoring to end the half 1-0 for the Black Queens before Myles and Zikpi added the other two in the second half.
Ghana are aiming to reach the finals of the Championship to be staged in Equatorial Guinea in November.
Botswana 0-1 Zimbabwe, Zambia 7-0 Malawi
Favoured to come up top in the match the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe were restricted and contained by Botswana leaving the match goalless at half time. While home side did not create many scoring chances they did well to stop conceding goals, holding their own against their more experienced opponents. Mighty Warriors were not to be denied their goal though and it came through a header from Erina Jeke in the early minutes of the second half. The goal seemed to settle the Zimbabweans but they missed chances to increase the lead and Botswana will travel to Zimbabwe still very much in the contest despite losing 1-0 at home.
In Zambia the home team ran riot against visiting Malawi scoring seven times without reply. Shepolopolo dominated Malawi and had opened the scoring as early the second minute of the game through Noria Sosala who went on to a second goal. Also scoring a brace for the Zambians was Mwila Bowa.
Zambia led 4-0 at half time and further goal from Kabange Mupopo, Anne Kabaiji and Misozi Zulu completed the rout which left Malawian coach Temwa Msuku saying “You feel humiliated when you concede so many goals. It was a terrible day for us “ The sides meet again in the return fixture in Malawi in two weeks time with the aggregate winner set to play South Africa in the next round.
Ivory Coast 5-1 Guinea
Not worried before the start of the game, Clementine Toure's girls had little difficulty adjusting to aggressiveplaying style of the Guineans. and opened the scoring on the 11th minute via captain Jeanne Gnago after a scramble in the defense of the Guineans.The goal opened the floodgates for the Ivory Coast who went on to add two goals by Estelle Marie Nahi (2-0, 30th) and Tia Ines M'Behy (3-0, 35th). The first half ended, however, by 3-1 when on the the 31st minute, Yvonne Mara reduced the score for the Guineans.
After the break, Guinea intensified the aggression but the Ivory Coast team went on the rampage. Nahi and Jeanne Estelle Gnago added their names to the scoring to seal the doom of the Guineans.This victory suggests a peaceful journey for the Ivory Coast to Conakry where they will play the return leg in 2 weeks.
Morocco 2-0 Tunisia
Jraidi Ibtissam was responsible for registering the first goal of the game in the 25th minute of play, while Chebbak Ghizlane sealed the score for the Moroccans in the 63rd minute of play at the end of the meeting, the coach National Oubenaissa Abid said he was "proud of the service of his players." "We have a group with more than 60% of players who are all getting their first cap in the national team. I am proud of my players who have demonstrated an unwavering motivation and have fought hard throughout the game. We will go to Tunisia to play the return match with two goals in advance, and we will do what is necessary to maintain our advantage. , "He said. "This victory is the result of hard work that lasted for weeks. On behalf of the team, I want to thank the Royal Moroccan Football Federation has provided us with all the requirements for adequate preparation, but also the whole sphere of the sports press who supported us, encouraged, and acts with all the fans of our twelfth item on the ground. , "He said. In two weeks, the Moroccans will make the trip to Tunisia to play in the return phase of the first round of the playoffs.
Kenya and Burundi have since withdrawn from the competition their reasons for withdrawing has not been released.