|Oly: Debutants Cameroon, South Africa face long odds|
Olympics women’s football preview
Road to London: Cameroon easily dispatched of Mali (6-0 aggregate) and then lost to Equatorial Guinea in the next round 2-0 on aggregate but were reinstated after one of the Equatorial Guinea players were ruled ineligible. Cameroon defeated continental powerhouse Nigeria via penalty shoot-out.
"I believe in this group I have patiently built. We made it to the Olympics by eliminating Nigeria, which is one of the best teams in Africa and even one of the best in the world," coach Enow Nagatchu told FIFA.com. "It is the result of work that we started three years ago. I hope these achievements will increase the interest for women's football in Cameroon.”
Key players: Annette Flore Ngo Ndom (goalkeeper), Françoise Josephine Bella (midfielder, captain), Patience Christine Manie (defender), Michelle Madeleine Ngono Mani (forward)
Goalkeepers: Annette Ngo Ndome, Reine Sosso
Defenders: Christine Manie, Rosine Siewe Yamaleu, Augustine Ejangue, Claudine Meffometou,Ysis Sonkeng
Midfielders: Francine Zouga, Raissa Feudjio, Bebey Beyene, Francoise Bella, Jeannette Yango
Forwards: Ajara Nichout, Gabrielle Onguene, Madeleine Ngono Mani, Adrienne Iven, Henriette Akaba, Gaelle Enganamouit
Road to London: South Africa were eliminated in the final round of qualifying by Nigeria in 2004 and 2008. The Bayana Bayana managed to avoid their nemesis in qualifying after Africa were allocated 2 berths at the 2012 Games. South Africa defeated Zamiba 5-1 on aggregate in the first round and fought off Tunisia in the second round through a penalty shoot-out. They easily defeated Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate to qualify for their first Olympics
"We want to promote women football," head coach Joseph Mkhonza told FIFA.com "It is our first time in the competition and we will do our best to make a difference. We want South African women's football to be taken seriously. Technically and tactically, is ok. With good training and motivation the team will gel and go places."
Key Players: Amanda Dlamini (midfielder), Noko Matlou (forward), Mpumi Nyandeni (attacking midfielder) and Janine van Wyk (defender)
Goalkeepers: Roxanne Barker, Philadelphia Thokozile Mndaweni
Defenders: Nothando Vilakazi, Amanda Sister, Janine van Wyk, Zamandosi Cele, Refiloe Jane
Midfielders: Robyn Moodaly, Leandra Smeda, Kylie-Ann Louw, Amanda Dlamini, Marry Ntsweng, Gabisile Judith Hlumbane, Nompumelelo Nyandeni
Forwards: Noko Matlou, Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Portia Modise, Sanah Mollo