When will Nigeria keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie finally be lured away from Paris FC?

Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie claims top spot in the African women’s power rankings after her heroics for Paris FC in the UEFA Women’s Champions League this past month.

October was an overall impressive women’s football month for Team Africa, with the Chawinga sisters, Asisat Oshoala and Thembi Kgatlana among the star names in this month’s top 10.

1. Chiamaka Nnadozie, Paris FC

After September’s efforts in the Champions League first round shock win over Arsenal, Nnadozie astonishingly repeated the feat in another massive upset in the second round, against German giants Wolfsburg.

The first leg in Paris finished 3-3, giving Wolfsburg the upper hand heading into the second, but Nnadozie played a huge role in turning the tide away from home.

Paris led the second leg 1-0 when Wolfsburg were handed a penalty right on the hour mark. Dominique Janssen stepped up, but Nnadozie got down to make the save and preserve Paris’ lead, which they doubled in the 90th minute to clinch a stunning victory over the 2022-23 runners-up.

Domestically, Nnadozie only conceded one goal all month, which came in a 4-1 win over Le Havre. Paris have five wins from five in the league. The time is surely coming when clubs in the US and England start bidding for her services.

For her national team, she was in goal in both legs of their 5-1 aggregate triumph over Ethiopia in the second round of Olympic qualifying.

2. Temwa Chawinga, Wuhan Jiangda

The younger Chawinga sister was on fire for Malawi, clinching the Golden Boot at the COSAFA Women’s Championship with nine goals. She was also named Player of the Tournament as Malawi won the title for the first time, with a 2-1 triumph over Zambia in the final in Atteridgeville, South Africa.

Her marauding run down the right flank and ball into the box for Asimenye Simwaka set up the first goal of that game and she brought down a long ball in the build up to Sabinah Thom’s winner.

Chawinga showcased her versatility, serving as a provider and goalscorer alike in an historic moment for Malawian women’s football.

3. Tabitha Chawinga, Paris Saint-Germain

Temwa’s older sister, Tabitha, was prolific for Inter Milan last season with 23 Serie A goals. At her new club, PSG, she has hit the ground running with three goals in October.

Chawinga was on target in league wins against Saint-Étienne and Lille, as well as the 1-1 UEFA Women’s Champions League draw with Manchester United. PSG went on to win the second leg against United 3-1.

In total, Chawinga has scored three goals in five games for PSG since joining. Since losing 1-0 to Lyon on October 1, they have recovered well to stay in contention for all honours.

4. Asisat Oshoala, Barcelona

Oshoala was among the goals for both club and country in October, making the most of her minutes in a highly competitive Barcelona squad to net a brace against Granada in a 6-1 win. She then scored a header for Nigeria in their 4-0 Olympic qualifying win over Ethiopia in Abuja.

Barcelona have a perfect six wins from six so far in the league this season, with Oshoala scoring three goals in 144 minutes. She made the most of her start against Granada to score in the 80th minute and again in the 82nd.

Nigeria drew the first leg of their Olympic qualifying tie against Ethiopia 1-1, but Oshoala scored in the 68th minute of the second to put them 3-0 up and all but seal their passage to the next round, which was consolidated by Rasheedat Ajibade‘s second goal thereafter.

5. Racheal KundananjiMadrid CFF

Zambia’s Kundananji has been one of Africa’s most decisive finishers over the last two years.

Having finished as last season’s second highest scorer in Spain’s Liga F, she has carried her form over into the current campaign. She followed up her September hat-trick against Sevilla with goals against her former club, Eibar, and UD Tenerife.

The goal against Eibar came in a 6-1 victory, but the strike against Tenerife was more important, as it put Madrid 2-1 up in a game which they ultimately won 3-2.

Kundananji currently leads the league’s scoring charts and is on course to go one better than last season and win the Golden Boot.

6. Thembi Kgatlana, Racing Louisville

NWSL side Racing Louisville have had a challenging month, which saw the club parting ways with head coach Kim Björkegren. However, Kgatlana has not let that get in the way of her prolific form for Banyana Banyana.

Kgatlana made a telling contribution as South Africa went one step closer towards succeeding where they failed at their last attempt – qualifying for the Olympics.

In their 3-1 second round aggregate win over DR Congo, which included a 1-1 draw in the first leg and a 2-0 triumph in the second, Kgatlana scored all three of her team’s goals.

7. Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético Madrid

Ajibade was the standout player across both legs of Nigeria’s win over Ethiopia. In the first, she scored a stunning 51st minute equaliser, controlling the ball just outside the box before smashing home on the half volley.

In the second leg, she scored a tap-in to make it 2-0 and then another to make it 4-0 and put the cherry on the cake.

The challenge for Ajibade will be to carry over her Super Falcons form to Atlético Madrid, where she has yet to score in six Liga games this season. Her contribution to the team goes beyond goals, but had she been as clinical for club as for country, she would have been higher on this month’s list.

8. Jermaine SeoposenweMonterrey

Seoposenwe scored three times in Liga MX Femenil for Monterrey throughout the course of October, helping them maintain a five-match winning streak.

She scored her first goal for her new club in the 3-1 win over Querétaro. Subsequently, she found the net in more 3-1 wins against Mazatlán and Tigres UANL.

Having worked tirelessly for South Africa throughout their rise to the top of African women’s football without taking the limelight, Seoposenwe will be glad to be featuring in a more prominent role at club level.

9. Anam Imo, Piteå

Imo scored the winner for Piteå in their 1-0 Swedish Damallsvenskan victory over Vittsjö, taking her total to the season to 15 goals.

The 22-year-old forward is very much in the race for the Golden Boot in Sweden, currently sitting only one goal behind Linköping’s Cornelia Kapocs.

Piteå are chasing Linköping in the race for third place, which would give them a spot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League first round. With two games left in the season, Linköping currently lead that race by three points.

10. Rinsola Babajide, UD Tenerife

Babajide, who was born in London and has previously played for Liverpool, received her first Nigeria call-up for the 1-1 draw with Ethiopia, and also got off the mark for her new club.

Babajide, who joined Tenerife from Real Betis in July on a two-year deal, scored in the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.

Although she has plenty of experience playing at a high level, Babajide has joined the national team at the age of 25, meaning that there is a high chance her best years are still to come and the Super Falcons – already loaded with attacking talent – will reap the rewards.

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