As the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand approaches, many of Africa’s stars are in fine form, as March saw standout performances from players in Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland and China.

Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji tops this month’s form-based rankings, while players from Malawi, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire also feature.

1. Racheal Kundananji, Madrid CFF

Kundananji is on a hot scoring streak in Spain’s Primera Iberdrola, with the Copper Queens striker netting five times in four March fixtures for Madrid CFF.

After beginning the month, with a brace in the 5-1 thrashing of Deportivo Alavés, Kundananji scored in a 5-2 defeat to Granadilla Tenerife. Her next two goals were more impactful as she scored Madrid’s third goal in their 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao, and then their first in a 2-2 draw with Levante Las Planas.

Kundananji has scored seven goals in her last six Primera Iberdrola appearances, getting on the scoresheet in each of those games. In total, she has 16 league goals this season for the team sitting fifth in the table at the time of writing.

2. Tabitha Chawinga, Inter Milan

Chawinga continued her fine run of form for Inter in March, netting for the Nerazzurre in two separate fixtures against Juventus – one in the Coppa Italia and one in Serie A.

The Malawi star has now scored in eight of her last nine appearances for Inter, hitting the back of the net 10 times in total during that run.

Chawinga finished March sitting pretty at the top of Italy’s scoring charts with 17 goals from 16 Serie A appearances. Her closest competitor, Juventus’ Cristiana Girelli, closed off the month with a total of 13.

3. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Oshoala was not as prolific in front of goal as March as she was in January and February, but as always, when she was most needed, the Super Falcons star delivered.

The 28-year-old set up Fridolina Rolfö for the first goal in the second leg of Barcelona’s UEFA Women’s Champions League tie with Roma. Oshoala then netted herself in the 46th minute, putting them 4-0 up.

Barça ultimately won the game 5-1 and the tie 6-1 on aggregate, setting up a semi-final clash with Chelsea. Oshoala was part of a Barcelona side that beat the Blues 4-0 in the 2021 final and will be eager to play a role in a repeat over two legs.



All change at the top of the WSL

Sophie Lawson reports as Manchester City beat Chelsea 2-0 to move ahead of them, level on points with Manchester United, at the top of the table.

4. Rosella Ayane, Tottenham Hotspur

Helped in no small part by the arrival of Beth England from Chelsea in January, Ayane is becoming increasingly productive for Spurs.

March started for the Morocco international with an assist for Celin Bizet Ildhusøy in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City. She then scored against Liverpool, but her efforts were in vain once again as Tottenham lost 2-1.

Ayane’s hard work was at least rewarded in the clash with Leicester City as her assist allowed England to score the winner and the only goal of the game.

Spurs rounded off the month with a 5-1 defeat to Arsenal in the North London derby – a wake-up call showing the distance between them and the top teams. However, there have been signs that Tottenham are laying the foundations for a resurgence, and Ayane may well have a role to play in that.

5. Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético Madrid

Nigeria’s Ajibade has had a mixed season for Atlético, but March was one of the Super Falcons forward’s more prolific months.

She scored both Atléti goals in the 2-1 win over Real Sociedad and then picked up an assist for Bárbara Latorre in the 3-0 victory over Granada.

After starting a 0-0 derby draw with title-chasing Real Madrid, Ajibade scored the opener in a 3-1 win over Alhama and then lastly started a 2-1 win over Deportivo Alavés. Atléti currently sit fourth in the table, with Ajibade’s form seemingly having a significant impact on that of the team.

6. Barbra Banda, Shanghai Shengli

Banda was back to her best in March as the Chinese Women’s Super League got back underway. The Copper Queens striker scored in Shanghai Shengli’s 2-1 win over Shaanxi Changan, before repeating the feat in a 4-1 victory over Changchun Dazhong.

Saving the best for last, she then bagged a hat-trick and the Player of the Match award in a 4-2 win over Yongchuan Chashan.

After controversially being barred from playing at last year’s African Women’s Cup of Nations (WAFCON) due to high testosterone levels, Banda is eligible for the FIFA World Cup. With both her and Kundananji banging in the goals, the Copper Queens are one of the teams to watch for fans looking for a surprise pick.

7. Refiloe Jane, Sassuolo

South Africa’s midfield maestro Jane has looked increasingly stable for Sassuolo and had one of her best months since joining the club from AC Milan eight months ago.

Jane scored in Sassuolo’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria and then played the full match in a 1-0 victory over Parma.

A steady anchor in the middle of the park from a country known for more skillful players, Jane is likely just as happy with the successive clean sheets as she is with having got her second goal of the Serie A season.

8. Linda Motlhalo, Glasgow City

Former Houston Dash midfielder Motlhalo has improved her productivity in front of goal since joining Glasgow City – improving the one previously missing aspect of an already impressive game.

The skillful midfielder was on target in a crushing 11-0 derby drubbing of Glasgow Women. In her 67 Damallsvenskan appearances for Djurgårdens prior to joining Glasgow City, Motlhalo only scored three goals, but since moving to Scotland, she has already netted twice in eight league matches.

Glasgow City had a perfect March, beating Motherwell 3-0, Celtic 1-0 and Hibernian 2-0 in addition to their derby delight against Glasgow Women.

9. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC

Super Falcons shot-stopper Nnadozie had a near perfect month in between the posts for Champions League chasers Paris FC.

Nnadozie kept clean sheets in the 2-0 win over Montpellier and the 0-0 draw with Bordeaux. Although she conceded twice in the 2-2 draw with Guingamp, the icing on the cake for the 22-year-old was inking a new contract until June 2025.

Paris FC are currently third in Division 1 Féminine and on course to once again qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

10. Rosemonde Kouassi, Fleury 91

Kouassi scored twice for Fleury 91 in their 6-1 win over Nantes, also picking up assists for Marine Dafeur and Batcheba Louis in the same game.

The Ivorian international once again turned provider for Louis in the 1-1 draw with Le Havre. Kouassi continues to play a central role in keeping Fleury on Paris FC’s tail in the Champions League qualification race. At the time of writing, Fleury are three points behind in the race for third place, with Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain fighting it out for first.

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Africa’s players hit their stride as Women’s World Cup approaches